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victor tango
26th Nov 2014, 19:01
Famous one I remember was the ford 100e wiper problem.
The system was vacuum driven, fine when driving normally.
All of a sudden its heavy rain but the wipers seem to go slower...maddening!

Ever had a car with an irritating problem?

Flash2001
26th Nov 2014, 19:05
Back in the day, pretty well all North American made cars, trucks and busses had vacuum wipers.

After an excellent landing etc...

Flypro
26th Nov 2014, 19:12
The worst thing about those vacuum wipers (fitted to a few models of Ford at that time) was the way they ground to a halt as you put your foot down and pulled out to overtake - just exactly when it was rather important to see where you were going!:eek:

victor tango
26th Nov 2014, 19:17
Thats what I meant flypro

victor tango
26th Nov 2014, 19:24
The little pump diagram on the fuel gauge if the pipe is on the right then thats the side your filler cap is.

Urban myth?

Flash2001
26th Nov 2014, 19:42
VT Not a myth. I've seen it many times. Handy on rental cars.

After an excellent landing etc...

ian16th
26th Nov 2014, 19:43
The little pump diagram on the fuel gauge if the pipe is on the right then thats the side your filler cap is.

Urban myth? Pretty much so!

See: snopes.com: Gas Pump Icon and Fuel Doors (http://www.snopes.com/autos/techno/icon.asp)

I've a little arrow on my Mazda. I've had the car 7 years next month and I still have to look at the arrow as I can never remember which side the cap is on.

Capetonian
26th Nov 2014, 19:44
I shall check on our cars tomorrow, but it's pissing down with rain now. I do remember one of my cars, it may have been an Audi, had a little arrow on the fuel gauge pointing to the filler cap side.

Because I regularly drive four or five cars in three different countries, and then sometimes hire cars, I am always confused about which side the filler is on, that however is nothing compared to driving a car you've not driven before and not being able to open the filler cap because there's a hidden lever or button somewhere, as happened to me once in Scotland in rental car, and I was low on fuel and would have been unable to get to my destination without refuelling...........

goudie
26th Nov 2014, 19:45
Urban myth? Not in my case. Have it on my Fiesta. Arrow pointing to l/h side


Ever had a car with an irritating problem?

My first car was a '37 chevvy, bought for £40.00 when I was 20.

Had a 6volt batt so lights were practically useless
18 mpg if I drove carefully!

OFSO
26th Nov 2014, 20:16
My Mondeo doesn't have a filler cap. Hence no little arrow.

TomJoad
26th Nov 2014, 20:33
1967 Mgb - electromechanical fuel pump had contact breakers that would get covered in carbon, causing the pump to fail, car would just grind to a halt. Head underneath the rear offside wheel arch to locate the pump, administer a few short taps with a spanner and you'd hear the reassuring tick tick tick as the pump sprang back into life. 5 miles down the road , head underneath the rear offside wheel arch,,,,,,,,,,,,,,. Happy days.;)

Tom

ShyTorque
26th Nov 2014, 20:44
1967 Mgb - electromechanical fuel pump had contact breakers that would get covered in carbon, causing the pump to fail, car would just grind to a halt. Head underneath the rear offside wheel arch to locate the pump, administer a few short taps with a spanner and you'd hear the reassuring tick tick tick as the pump sprang back into life. 5 miles down the road , head underneath the rear offside wheel arch,,,,,,,,,,,,,,. Happy days.

Happier days now modern versions of that pump have electronics instead of points. The one on my car has ticked happily away for over twelve years with no need for maintenance.

The most "quirky" thing about cars I've owned was probably the swing axle suspension on my old Triumph Spitfire. If you chickened out in a corner, the outside rear wheel would tuck right under the car, jacking the rear end of the car right up and putting the sidewall of the tyre on the road, instead of the tread. You had to go in slow and come out fast, which planted the rear end down onto the road. At least it taught you to drive properly - or die!

VP959
26th Nov 2014, 20:44
Didn't indicate filler side on my old Jag, that had fillers on both sides..............

(as did the Mini Cooper S I owned around 20 years earlier)

Saintsman
26th Nov 2014, 20:49
My first car, a Mk1 Ford Escort had annoying habit of rusting before my eyes.

Mind you, so did my second car...

Shaggy Sheep Driver
26th Nov 2014, 20:53
Shy, that must have been an early model Spitfire. I had a VW Beetle that tried to kill me by doing that, but my 2 Mk4 Spitfires were fine. The Mk4 had an additional transverse leaf spring that limited how far down a wheel could drop. Still pretty [email protected] rear suspension, but double wishbones at the front - odd combination of bad and good.

But later came the really awful BL cars. I had a brand new rental Montego that ran out of petrol with the gauge reading 'full'. The rental company sent out, in replacement, a top of the range Mini equipped with a novelty of the time - electric windows.

We stopped to ask directions and I drew up to the kerb and pressed the LH window button so my passenger could talk to the chap standing there. His window didn't move. Mine slid down beautifully, however.

ShyTorque
26th Nov 2014, 21:10
Shy, that must have been an early model Spitfire.

Yes, it was a 1970 Mk3. The later ones would do it to a lesser degree if you got it really badly wrong (as discovered by a friend who tried in his to to overtake me on a bend, they were also a bit slower)! How I laughed, all the way home.

Ancient Mariner
26th Nov 2014, 21:13
Land Rover Disco Series I, every time I braked hard I'd have a waterfall down the windscreen/shield, the inside of the windscreen/shield. Sun roofs leaking like seaves. And the rest of the car was crap too.
Land Rover Disco Series II, just ordinary LR crap.
Per

Shaggy Sheep Driver
26th Nov 2014, 21:27
Another nice design point on the Austin Montego - it had electrically-adjustable door mirrors. Very posh!

Except that the switch that adjusted the mirrors was positioned on the dash so it could only be reached by leaning forward and sideways. You see the problem?

From the driving position one could see the mirrors required adjusting, but to do so one had to move away from the driving position to reach the switch, so had no idea how to position the mirrors for a good view from the driving position!

Great ergonomics, those BL heaps!

A couple of years later I got a VW Scirocco as a company car. The first model Scirocco, the good looking one. Two things apart from its good looks impressed me after years of Brit iron; it drove well with lovely handling, and it was obvious a lot of thought had gone into ergonomics for the driver. Everything you needed was just where you'd want it to be.

Capetonian
26th Nov 2014, 21:32
I had a Renault (12 I think) that had a column gear change with the crudest mechanism I've ever seen, Heath Robinson stuff, and a handbrake under the dash that was so far away that you had to have arms like a baboon to reach it, quite impossible if you were wearing a seatbelt.

Like most French cars, it was very comfortable, but badly designed and badly built. My next, and last, French car was a Peugeot 205 GTI. Powerful for its size and weight but totally unpredictable handling and things forever going wrong with it.

jimtherev
26th Nov 2014, 21:40
I had a couple of Citroen BXs. Loved the roadholding & suspension. Trouble with the latter is that I lived on a hill, and a properly applied handbrake would wind itself off as the suspension slowly deflated. Several merry chases ensued.
Got me into the bad habit of tugging on the handbrake hard in all subsequent cars... Cable then stretches, and...

ExSp33db1rd
26th Nov 2014, 21:49
Toyota Vista. Automatic headlamps that go on and off as the daylight fades or grows, and will auto switch off when the ignition is switched off, but need to be moved to Manual to use in low visibility, heavy rain, daylight fog etc. In Manual they don't go off with the ignition. Grrrr. Catches me everytime, and I carry a pair of well worn jump leads now.

Why do cars need automatic anything, whatever happened to having to drive the bloody things ?

We stopped to ask directions and I drew up to the kerb and pressed the LH window button so my passenger could talk to the chap standing there. His window didn't move. Mine slid down beautifully, however. That's why pilots always check the operation of the control column before take off -v - the actual action of the flying control surfaces, instances of the action being reversed during routine maintenance.

Murphy is always with us.

TomJoad
26th Nov 2014, 21:59
Happier days now modern versions of that pump have electronics instead of points. The one on my car has ticked happily away for over twelve years with no need for maintenance.



Indeed, I replaced the original long since with one of these. Looks exactly the same as the original from the outside but the mechanical points have been replaced as you say with an electronic switching unit. Better still you even get the authentic tick, tick as the pump primes. Head hasn't been under the wheel arch for some time and now I have a spare spanner :p

The old dizzy had the same treatment - no more changing points or setting gaps.

http://sucarb.co.uk/media/catalog/product/cache/3/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/s/u/su_image-3356_original.jpg

Tom

Pom Pax
26th Nov 2014, 22:29
VPR959
Didn't indicate filler side on my old Jag, that had fillers on both sides..............

(as did the Mini Cooper S I owned around 20 years earlier)

I trust you bought the Cooper with the usual guarantee "Never raced or RALLIED".
You needed both tanks to go a 100 miles in the Welsh hills and lanes on a Saturday night.
Note A similar equipped good Cortina (one of Mr Chapman's) would average 8mpg on the same course!

John Hill
26th Nov 2014, 22:33
Yeah, my Riley had just one tank but a filler on each side. Both caps had to be off to fill the tank and if the pump jockey did not pay attention petrol would spew out the other side when the tank filled.

G-CPTN
26th Nov 2014, 22:39
my Riley had just one tank but a filler on each side
RMA, RMB, RME or RMF?

or did you have the RMC or RMD roadster?

Loose rivets
26th Nov 2014, 23:08
Never, in a million years, did I think I'd have more respect for this:


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v703/walnaze/Cars/Picture041.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/walnaze/media/Cars/Picture041.jpg.html)


Than this:



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v703/walnaze/Cars/DashboardE500Sport013.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/walnaze/media/Cars/DashboardE500Sport013.jpg.html)


However, while the MB was total crap, it did have a wondrous cruise control with its own stalk. The Honda has cruise on the steering wheel buttons but while it locks on electrically in an instant, you have to wait while the car slows 3mph before regaining the set speed. Sooooooo annoying for folk behind. It drives me CRAZY, and has done so for 18 years.


This:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v703/walnaze/Cars/LotusEclatfront.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/walnaze/media/Cars/LotusEclatfront.jpg.html)


required an on-board engineer with a tool box that weighed as much as the car. I turned up for a flight one morning with grease up to me elbows. Passengers cheered, they did as we just managed to taxi on time.


Best 75 quid I ever spent, but sometimes the cork clutch would not slide on the splines and it'd just sit there making one look like a Wally at traffic lights etc.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v703/walnaze/Cars/RobwithWollsely.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/walnaze/media/Cars/RobwithWollsely.jpg.html)



OP's question? The most annoying thing in any car I've owned? Here she is just about to get in it.



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v703/walnaze/Cars/CarsatNaze085.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/walnaze/media/Cars/CarsatNaze085.jpg.html)






.

Flash2001
27th Nov 2014, 00:13
Could be that I learned something here but all the rentals I can remember conformed to the urban myth.

After an excellent landing etc...

John Hill
27th Nov 2014, 01:31
RMA, RMB, RME or RMF?

or did you have the RMC or RMD roadster?

RMB, but I did seriously consider converting it to an RMC!

I actually had an RMC for a short while (non runner) but someone made an offer. It was a stupid American market model with a clumsy column change and half a ton of excess weight in the form of chromed backing plates behind the bumperettes etc.

Solid Rust Twotter
27th Nov 2014, 04:56
Opel Kadet had a sticky starter solenoid on some models. Used to buzz and click like a demented wasp until you got out and opened the bonnet, laid into the starter with a spanner swung overhand for a few seconds and tried again, after which it worked perfectly.

ian16th
27th Nov 2014, 06:42
I had am odd one. A 1973 Hillman Hunter that was built during one of those strikes that were endemic in the UK at the time. This one a suppliers strike.

Hunters normally had Stromburg carburetors, because of the strike, Rootes/Chrysler bought in some SU carbs and my car was one of those so fitted.

The net result was a bodged routing of the cable from the Go Pedal to the carb, that shortly resulted in the cable breaking. The 2nd time this happened I started carrying a spare cable in the glove locker, and I became expert at doing the job at the roadside. Including on a Saturday night in Brussels.

Now I drive a Jap Crap Mazda6 that just keep going:ok:

gruntie
27th Nov 2014, 06:54
Automatic headlamps that go on and off as the daylight fades or grows, and will auto switch off when the ignition is switched off, but need to be moved to Manual to use in low visibility, heavy rain, daylight fog etc.

PLUS when you live in the sticks (as I do) they are turned off while on full beam: so the next day they turn on & off in shadows, uncommanded and unnoticed, dazzling other road users.

So they don't work when they should; and they do work when they shouldn't. This is wisdom, according to Mercedes Benz. But do they offer a variable interval on the intermittent wipers? No chance - but they do put the indicator repeaters on the bl00dy mirrors. No chance of them being damaged there............

Capetonian
27th Nov 2014, 07:21
I checked our VW and Saab and both confirm the urban legend, the hose is on the right and so is the filler cap. Obviously the sample is too small to be valid.

pulse1
27th Nov 2014, 07:23
The early automatic chokes could be a disaster. I had two Montegos and a Mk 2 Cortina and they all gave problems. The Montegos were particularly troublesome. If you stopped the engine shortly after starting from cold, something I was trained never to do but sometimes you can't avoid it, it would never start until you took out the plugs and blew out the excessive fuel in the cylinders. My second one would not start in really cold weather because the the system went on increasing the level of choke as the temperature decreased so, if it didn't fire immediately, it would never start. Definitely needed AA membership with those cars.

UniFoxOs
27th Nov 2014, 07:24
1967 Mgb - electromechanical fuel pump had contact breakers that would get covered in carbon, causing the pump to fail,

And 1960's minis - after a while you could clout the fuel pump (on rear subframe) from memory without needing to look for it.


LR - my MIL didn't look like that.

pulse1
27th Nov 2014, 08:04
What worries me is that the stand by fuel pump on my aeroplane is a similar type.:hmm:

Tankertrashnav
27th Nov 2014, 08:15
Anyone remember the early air-operated windscreen washers on VW beetles which worked off the spare tyre? Never had one myself but I had one of those 1600 VW fastbacks where you had a separate pressurised air bottle that you had to remember to inflate if you wanted to be sure of being able to wash your windcsreen.

Ancient Mariner
27th Nov 2014, 08:17
And before that you pulled a knob on the dash almost into the back seat to "wash" your windshield. Very efficient it was not, on my '59 Beetle. And because it had no fuel gauge VW installed a valve for switching to reserve. You filled up, and guess what? You forgot to close the valve. Now guess what happened next. :ugh:
Per

joy ride
27th Nov 2014, 08:18
Triumph Herald on corners: "clap-hands" rear suspension would get upset by any bump and turning radius suddenly increased dramatically. The fact that the door would fly open at the same time only made matters worse.

Mini Countryman (Tudor-style woodwork estate): Battery below rear seat with hinges at the front, lift up seat, reach over, lift battery, feel your back ping! Replace battery after charging, ping, replace seat. Oops, I forgot to put that thin vinyl cover back over the battery. One or two minutes later..."What's that smell of burning?" Ah yes, battery terminals touching the steel rear seat frame and setting fire to the plywood seat base.

Velorex: Engine starts up first time of the day, get to shops, try to re-start on the same day? Not without a lot of fuss!

Capetonian
27th Nov 2014, 08:28
I remembered a couple of other things about my Fiat 128 Rally.

When I parked it near the sea at my ex GF's place in Mouille Point (Mouille means damp), I could see it visibly rusting away, although luckily the paintwork was dark brown so it was harder to distinguish corrosion from paintwork, but generally the bigger bits were corrosion.

Also it had a primitive speed control, a knob on the dash that you pulled out and twisted to lock it. I know it sounds like a choke but it wasn't, it was a throttle lock. It had an automatic choke and the bloody thing would never start, luckily I lived on the slopes of the mountain and usually managed to get it running by the time I'd let it coast all the way down Upper Buitenkant Street to Gardens Centre for those who know the area.

A A Gruntpuddock
27th Nov 2014, 08:38
Re the comments about rust - when the latest model of Vauxhall Viva were brought out a few of us went down to the local dealer at lunchtime to have a look.

Opened the bonnet on one and the front frame was visibly rusty!

Careful look over showed rust in several other areas - rapid exodus of potential buyers from showroom.

JWP1938
27th Nov 2014, 08:45
Mini Countryman.....In the mid 60s I had an A(40?) Countryman with the oak body. It was getting on a bit and, if I remember rightly, most (if not all) the fixings that held the wood together were large nails rather than screws and they got loose in their holes as the car got older. If I went round a corner a bit sharply (or after 4 or 5 normal turns) the whole body would lean 45 degrees to one side and I had to get out and push it upright again. This got me many amazed looks every time - especially from Plod - but I never got pulled in the many months this went on. Wouldn't get away with it now of course.

ShyTorque
27th Nov 2014, 08:53
My Fiesta had a twin choke Weber with an automatic choke unit, which worked via an internal bimetallic coil spring powered from the alternator. The spring was electrically heated, which de-energised the choke flap.

One day, after overtaking a car on a dual carriageway, the throttle stuck wide open. The automatic choke innards had disintegrated. The operating arm was made of plastic which was affected by heat and became very brittle.

Gave me an interesting few moments because just after I pulled in the road went back to single carriageway with a bend.

MagnusP
27th Nov 2014, 09:50
US hire car (maybe a Cutlass Supreme?) which had the filler cap under a hinged rear number plate. The blokes in the filling station were pi$$ing themselves laughing watching me trying to find it.

The new mercs have a little arrow at the side of the fuel pump symbol. They also have a badly-designed catch on the cover for the filler cap which can refuse to release. We've had ours replaced.

OFSO
27th Nov 2014, 10:30
Friends from Jersey CI turned up here in a Rover 75 and parked the car for a week - we used mine to get about.

At least once a day their car emitted a loud "moooo", very cow-like. Their garage back in St Peters had been unable to find whatever was causing this.

ShyTorque
27th Nov 2014, 10:35
Surely that's not a lot to beef about?

G-CPTN
27th Nov 2014, 10:36
Hillman Imp - a marvellous little vehicle to drive, but so many design faults built in.

Automatic choke that shook itself to pieces because of resonant engine vibrations.

Front stub-axle swivel bearings that wore out and seized frequently.

Water pump bearings that disintegrated regularly - at least it was easy to change, unlike some Lotus models where the engine had to be removed to gain access.

Exhaust valve burn-out - never leave home without a set of valves and a head gasket (and a full-size cantilever toolbox in the front helped to keep the front wheels loaded).

Transaxle casing split - fortunately dealers kept exchange units.

For all that it was great handling car that would out-corner most sportscars and had a superb gearshift that operated like a rifle-bolt.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
27th Nov 2014, 10:40
I remember in the late 1970s when lean-burn engines were all the rage, I had an Escort company car. The lean burn engine got so hot it would tend to 'run on' when switched off, due the glowing carbon deposits in the cylinder. To overcome this Ford fitted a trap door to the inlet manifold, held shut by a solenoid. When the ignition was switched off the solenoid de-energised and the trap door opened by spring pressure, allowing fresh air into the inlet manifold.

Later I had probably the worst car ever - a Fiat 131. It went through head gaskets at a prodigious rate. One day it was blowing steam as usual so I took it into the dealers to be fixed. I was just putting my stuff into the courtesy car when I realised I'd left something in the Fiat, and went back into the workshop to get it. It had only been in the shop a few minutes but he mechanic already had the head off.

"That was quick", I said.

"Oh, I do an awful lot of these", he replied.

It was always a reluctant starter on damp mornings, and one day we went to a horsey event up in the Peak District. The cloud came down and soon the site was IMC, and when it was time to leave every car departed except our Fiat, which refused to start despite the usual dose of WD40, so I called the RAC.

A local garage came out, and after a struggle got it started.

"What was the problem?" I asked.

"Oh, they're Italian, these. They like a bit o' sunshine!".

OFSO
27th Nov 2014, 10:45
I had a 124S where the headlights used to fill up with water. Cracking car, once stayed over 100mph on the autobahn from Basel to Darmstadt with no trouble. Got lighter every month of course as the body changed from metal to rust. Boot leaked but rust hole in floor dealt with that.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
27th Nov 2014, 10:53
A friend had an Alfasud. Great car to drive, but he left it out in the rain one night and it disintegrated.

Ancient Mariner
27th Nov 2014, 10:55
The little gray cell is waking up now.
Seat 127, broken engine mounts. During acceleration long shifter disappeared aft between front seats, engine braking, shifter hid under dashboard. Engine only suspended by drive shafts and piping. Great little car.

Hillman Super Minx MK IV Sport.
Spat No.2 con rod through sump. Still pushed on on three sans lub oil.
Loved that Q-car.
Per

UniFoxOs
27th Nov 2014, 11:09
Hillman Imp - a marvellous little vehicle to drive, but so many design faults built in.

Not forgetting the pneumatic throttle.

I remember having to rebuild a transaxle on one of these, we went to the local dealers to get the parts. Smal garage but it had all the bearings, seals, synchro hubs etc. When it came time to pay the storeman asked if we were rebuilding the transaxle. Bit of a dumb question as we were buying all the bits, but we said yes.

His reply - "Blimey, our mechanics won't touch them and they've been on the factory course."

Didn't put us off and it was as sweet as anything afterwards.

DType
27th Nov 2014, 11:22
My early Rover 2000 had MANY quirks, for example to bleed the rear brakes you really had to turn the car upside down because of the geography of the pipe runs (inboard brakes, four pistons, single bleed nipple)
But the one that had me baffled for some time was how it would repeatedly boil all its water/expensive antifreeze away without ANY warning on the gauge. Turned out that the then novel wax thermostat (without the skirt of the old bellows type) relied on a small restrictor to bleed a little flow through to the stat and gauge sensor. But of course the small restrictor soon became blocked, so the stat and gauge never saw that the engine was hot and the stat should be open. So when eventually the coolant boiled in the head, the steam forced the liquid backwards down through the cylinder block, up through the radiator and out by the filler cap. Not steam, liquid. So within a couple of seconds the engine was completely dry, apart from a teacupful of cold water around the thermostat
Happy days, NOT.

Dushan
27th Nov 2014, 11:42
And before that you pulled a knob on the dash almost into the back seat to "wash" your windshield. Very efficient it was not, on my '59 Beetle. And because it had no fuel gauge VW installed a valve for switching to reserve. You filled up, and guess what? You forgot to close the valve. Now guess what happened next. :ugh:
Per

I am sure a proper re-fueling check list was provided in the user manual. We all know what happens when a check list is attempted from memory...

modtinbasher
27th Nov 2014, 12:12
Had a VW Beetle in the '70s. Spare wheel was under the bonnet (of course) and so was the windscreen washer tank. The amusing thing was that there was a short tube leaving the cap of the washer tank that one connected to the valve of the spare wheel to provide the means of getting the water to the jets! Must have been designed by Herr Heath von Robinson.....

ShyTorque
27th Nov 2014, 12:16
I am sure a proper re-fueling check list was provided in the user manual.

Now I know who was the bloke taking twenty minutes to fill up at the pump in front of me. He's reading the manual!

teeteringhead
27th Nov 2014, 13:22
And I swear the beams from the 6 volt headlamps in a Beetle I once owned were so weak that a crosswind would blow them sideways ..........

Stanwell
27th Nov 2014, 13:37
Am I the only person on here who DIDN'T have significant problems with Jaguars?
They regularly left my mates both embarrassed and broke.

Experiences with Triumph, Rover, Fiat and Renault have all left a bad taste in my mouth.

Pardon me for slipping in a positive note on here...
My 1968 Volvo 123GT which I've had since new - competent, totally reliable and unbreakable.

Anyway, back to Lucas electrics, vacuum wipers and primitive swing axles.

G-CPTN
27th Nov 2014, 13:47
MkI 2.4 and MkII 3.4 - no problems other than oil consumption of the 3.4 and 2.4 fuel starvation on hard cornering - Woodcote, Silverstone.

Gordon17
27th Nov 2014, 13:53
A friend had an Alfasud. Great car to drive, but he left it out in the rain one night and it disintegrated.

A bit like the Dodge Veg-O-Matic that Jonathan Richman sang about -

Well, I'll meet you at seven in the parking lot
We can all just stand by my car, you know and watch it rot
Well, I'll see you now at seven, sir, don't be late
We'll stand there and watch my car vegetate
You know, I like it, you know, I like it a lot

I had a Mark 1 Cortina that had nearly as much filler as metal in the front wings. It also had a ring gear with only handful of teeth on it so the starter motor would often spin next to a "bald spot" and nothing would happen. I used to try to park it on hills so I could just put in 4th gear, roll it a few inches and try again.

Capetonian
27th Nov 2014, 14:05
An ex-GF of mine was bought an Alfasud for her 18th birthday by her parents. For the first months until she passed her test, I used to drive it. She lived near a long fast hill with a sweeping left hand bend, which I used to go round at about 45 mph. The thing had phenomenal road holding.

The first time we went out in it with her driving, it was a wet autumn afternoon .......... you can probably see where this is going ......... she went down the hill, despite my warnings, at about 60 slowing into the bend watching the speedometer, to about 45 mph. As the road was covered in wet leaves and she had no idea how to steer smoothly into the curve, we did a spectacular four wheel drift, fortunately and miraculously not hitting anything coming the other way, coming to an abrupt halt against the side of a building after hitting the kerb and miraculously not rolling. The car was pretty badly damaged, we weren't.

Her parents, who had more money than sense, just ordered another one, which apparently lasted a few weeks longer before she rear ended a bus. By that time I'd moved on.

vulcanised
27th Nov 2014, 14:16
No-one has mentioned thos stalwarts of reliability and rustlessness, the various Vauxhalls :yuk: like Velox, Wyvern, Victor and Cresta.

Stanwell
27th Nov 2014, 14:18
Gordon,
The Ford Falcons here in OZ - You could pick them by their attempted starts from some distance away.
The starter solenoid would quite often not push far enough to engage the ring gear.
The repeated sound - REEE-IT would tell everybody within half a mile 'Ah, a Falcon!'
It took them years to get that sorted.

A A Gruntpuddock
27th Nov 2014, 14:49
Young colleague overheard me saying that I had just bought a new greasegun and asked if I would use it on the Imp which he had bought from his brother as the steering was 'a bit stiff'.

Got it jacked up and asked him to turn the steering wheel so I could get access to the nipple on the offside front suspension.

Said he couldn't so I tried - the suspension was locked solid just off dead centre!!!

Tried the other side where the wear was so bad that the wheel flopped from side to side by about 10 degrees.

And this on a car which was driven regularly from Wigan to Chesterfield via the motorway network!

He said it was like that when he bought it and it was a bit of a handful at times, tending to swerve from lane to lane so he usually drove in the middle lane to give himself a bit of room.

First car, no driving license so he just assumed all cars were like that! :\:\

ian16th
27th Nov 2014, 15:03
Hillman Imp - a marvellous little vehicle to drive, but so many design faults built in.Automatic choke that shook itself to pieces because of resonant engine vibrations. Not forgetting the pneumatic throttle.Those were early Imp's.

The Automatic choke and pneumatic throttle were superseded by 1971 when I bought my 1st new car, an Imp de Lux! the de Lux bit meant the it came with a choice of colour other than blue or white and it came with a heater.

At the time Chrysler were the only company in the UK giving a 12 month unlimited mileage guarantee.

I did a quick 40,000 miles and traded mine in for a Sunbeam Sport, AKA the Imp Sport. A magic little car that went like the proverbial bat from Hades.

At the time I lived in the Forest of Dean and thoroughly enjoyed myself :ok: This included a trip to the Cote d'Azure and playing in the Marseille traffic with the Simca Mille's.

But yes, it did succumb to the well known gasket and warped head problems eventually.

No dealer but the Chrysler one would offer any sort of money in part exchange for it, which is why I bought the afore mentioned Hunter that came with the SU carb.

dazdaz1
27th Nov 2014, 15:05
On the Peugeot 207 cc you can't adjust the screen washer jets (not sure about the saloon model) so driving with the top down, people in the back get a good shower as does the upholstery:ugh: And it's NOT a girlie car.

Daz

halas
27th Nov 2014, 15:23
XE Ford Falcon '83.
For a 4.1 it had a cable operated clutch. :confused:
Out in the bush was forever driving without a clutch as the 'C' clip on the fire wall end of the cable sleeve would pop out regularly.
So when in town would buy up a supply of C clips and fit them all on each of the 28 adjustment collars.
Every few months l would hear a ping, then feel the clutch loosen just a little on application.
27 to go!
Clutch got a bit sloppy if l didn't move the clips up the sleeve.

With regard to fuel filler and indicator, l rented an Opel something or other in Germany recently and the fuel gauge was in the middle of the binnacle .
So is it which side the hose is on the diagram?

halas

sitigeltfel
27th Nov 2014, 15:44
And it's NOT a girlie car.

Daz

True.........also favoured by hairdressers :p

seacue
27th Nov 2014, 16:20
A friend had an XK-120 and then an XK-140. He was reliably late on wet days. Water in puddles would splash up into the area between the cam shafts - which also held the spark plugs. The car would be immobile until water ran off the plugs. I'm not sure he ever developed the skill needed to wipe the plugs dry.

G-CPTN
27th Nov 2014, 16:25
I'd forgotten about that - I used to put the Jag plugs in the oven when it wouldn't start due to dampness - along with the plug-leads as the moisture seemed to permeate into the rubber.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
27th Nov 2014, 16:31
At least if you got a plug shorted out or go open circuit back in the days of points and coils there was no collateral damage. Do that on a modern car and the solid state ignition pack will be toast - expensive!

OutlawPete
27th Nov 2014, 17:04
A couple of years later I got a VW Scirocco as a company car. The first model Scirocco, the good looking one. Two things apart from its good looks impressed me after years of Brit iron; it drove well with lovely handling, and it was obvious a lot of thought had gone into ergonomics for the driver. Everything you needed was just where you'd want it to be.

Shaggy, could not agree more. The Mk1 Scirocco in my opinion had it all. Italian styling coupled to German engineering and the driving pleasure was unrivalled at that time. Way better than the Mk1 golf. Those cars though did have their own quirk that didn't appear until a few years later. The fuel filler pipe was made of mild steel and it corroded leaving deposits in the tank that killed the injection system it you had a GTi model. Many good cars went to the crusher for that problem, due to misdiagnosis.

In a similar way, the 90's era Audi 80/90/coupe/cabriolet models had a weak relay that shorted out the very basic ECU, meaning cars would run badly and no amount of fettling with spark plugs and fuel systems fixed it. The result was that many were written off for what was a £10 fix.

27mm
27th Nov 2014, 17:21
My '69 reg Beetle had some endearing quirks:
1 With windows closed, difficult to shut doors, as she was effectively watertight
2 Floor mounted heater/demist levers
3 Windscreen washer bottle pressurised from spare tyre
4 On winter roads, handled much better with a sack of spuds in the boot

Miss her a lot!

flying lid
27th Nov 2014, 17:46
I had a 70 Beetle 1600cc 1302S. Bought it for £350, ran it for 2 years, sold it to my mate for £350 who sold it to another mate for £350. did it up (new wings, respray etc). I bought it back off him for £600, ran for a couple of years and sold it to yet another mate for £600, who ran it for a year & then wrecked it (stupid sod).

Wish I still had it.

Lid

victor tango
27th Nov 2014, 18:02
Present car Vauxhall club 1974.
Had no real probs with it apart from the present irritating one.

Whilst driving noticed a swooshing noise on bends/braking etc. Actually thought it was the fuel sloshing around, then I thought that Ive never heard that in any car I driven, which have been a few!

Cutting a long story short........car was taken in and it was found that the vents by the base of the wipers were blocked by leaves etc water was collecting in the sub frame just behind the wheel arch. The mech cleared it out together with an ants nest!!!! That was a year ago......now its happening again, should I drill a bloody great hole to let the water out dyu think???

John Hill
27th Nov 2014, 18:20
One of my cars was a 1930's styled home built with a hinge down the centreline of the bonnet and the engine was a Toyota 18RGU DOHC. The plugs were set deep between cam covers and well protected under a rubber bung moulded on the plug leads.

The car could be driven in the rain all day and would always start even if thoroughly wet. However if the car was driven wet, then driven after being parked for a while it would soon begin to run rough and opening the bonnet would show one or more plug leads off!

Apparently, water sitting on the top of the hot engine would be drawn past the rubber bungs as the engine cooled then when the engine again heated the water boiled and steam blew the plug leads off!

VTA
27th Nov 2014, 19:48
My '71 TR6 horn beeps just once all by itself whenever I turn right.... Never have worked out why, I guess it just like to make its presence known :)

Blues&twos
27th Nov 2014, 20:00
I owned a 2001 Renault Scenic with...unsurprisingly....a weird electronic fault. Long story short, I eventually figured out that the electronic throttle would go into fault and the engine would sit unmoving at 2000 rpm regardless of pedal position ONLY if the engine had been running for less than two minutes. Even if only the ignition was switched on, I had to then run the engine for at least two minutes to avoid this problem. To clear the fault, I'd switch on the engine, let it run at its constant 2000rpm until it suddenly started 'hunting' (revving up and down all on its own), then switch off. Next turn of the key - everything was fine again. Never did get it sorted because of the guesswork and expense involved. Went as a trade-in.

Blues&twos
27th Nov 2014, 20:04
VTA - sounds like a wire with outer insulation worn away by something metal in the steering mechanism. As you turn, the errant wire is briefly earthed against the mechanism, causing horn to beep. Possibly.

stevef
27th Nov 2014, 20:28
My South African-built Mazda 626's fuel gauge would do anything but tell the truth whenever the headlights were turned on. Always a good idea to fill up before the sun went down. :)

DType
27th Nov 2014, 22:07
I never managed to get water in between the cam covers, but I agree it could be a pig to get going when damp. Bought my wife a hair dryer with the sole purpose of drying out the HT items.
Once going, the engine heat kept everything AOK until you splashed through deepish water, which got the distributor (down by the front wheel). However, after coasting to a standstill, and being re-overtaken by all the traffic you had so painfully passed over the previous umpteen miles, the engine heat dried it all out in a minute or two, and you blasted off again - until the next time!

John Hill
27th Nov 2014, 22:10
DType, you were supposed to seal up the distributor with Plasticine.

MadsDad
27th Nov 2014, 22:24
Nah, optimum preventative for water in a distributor was a rubber glove with the ends cut off the fingers.

k3k3
27th Nov 2014, 22:39
If it was for a six cylinder Jaguar, did the glove come from Norfolk?

ExSp33db1rd
28th Nov 2014, 01:04
What worries me is that the stand by fuel pump on my aeroplane is a similar type.

Just sold my aeroplane, but the starter motor suffered from this problem, and wasn't a standby, 'twas the only one. Doesn't give ones' passenger a lot of confidence when, strapped in, briefed, ready to go the pilot has to climb out, open the engine cowling and clout 'something' with a handy spanner.

I soon learned not to actually stop the engine when teaching a student - in the air - how to cope with an engine failure !

Loose rivets
28th Nov 2014, 01:34
When I repaired telly boxes, my manager had a perpendicular Poplar van. He'd heard that some wise people purchased vacuum reservoirs so set about making one.

Nice it was, a tin about two pints worth, bound with wire and soldered with at least a roll of Ersin multicore. Well, it was only five bob then. He painted it matte black and stood back to admire his work.

The next day he looked rather crestfallen. The binding would have stopped it exploding but certainly didn't stop it imploding. He showed us the crumpled mess.

If you want to impress kids with science, show them the tin-crushing vacuum experiment.

Metro man
28th Nov 2014, 01:53
Early Minis with the distributor cap pointing straight at the front grille where it could get wet.

Citroen GS Club, had to remove the distributor to change the points.

Any car where a cam belt failure results in the valves hitting the pistons.:ugh:

unstable load
28th Nov 2014, 06:26
Early Minis with the distributor cap pointing straight at the front grille where it could get wet.
Yup, mine was severley allergic to rain and puddles. Did the cut-off glove trick which improved matters, but it still caught me sometimes.
It was OK once the engine was warmed up, pull over and sit tight for about 10 minutes and it dried itself out.

modtinbasher
28th Nov 2014, 07:38
Quote teeteringhead "And I swear the beams from the 6 volt headlamps in a Beetle I once owned were so weak that a crosswind would blow them sideways .........."Unquote


Indeed, my one was the six volt too. I remember getting pulled by the law and the copper says" laddie, you ain't got your lights on"!!!!


"Yes I have officer, just sidelights" ( there was just one little bulb behind each great glass goldfish bowl).


"OK" says officer, "I'll get a bit lower", so he bends over and sticks his mush about 6 inches from headlight, "so you have laddie,......so you have. Have a good day sir."


So I thought I could not put up with this agro again so I got a sparky to work out exactly how much generated juice I needed to keep the car engine running, then I made a couple of spotlamp brackets with suitable lights mounted on same level as headlights. The wiring loom was amended so that when I really needed to see where I was going, I flicked a switch and every bit of electrical kit the car didn't need to keep running switched off and all the available juice went into the new lights. Wow! amazing!


All my mates fell about laughing, I'd now got what resembled a headlight on your average 12 volt system! Happy days in 38 Central Workshop REME with a great bunch of guys.


MTB

Capetonian
28th Nov 2014, 07:49
At one time I lived on a farm and access to my house was by a narrow track and no turning space at the end, so I always had to either reverse in or reverse out. I was (still am) crap at reversing so for night-time use fitted a 55w. spotlight to the back bumper and wired it to a separate switch on the dash.

One evening I was stopped by the police 'just a routine check, nothing to worry about' and was told that it was technically illegal in terms of the RTA or whatever the legislation was. I explained why I had it and he said 'nevertheless I have to warn you that it is technically illegal'. As I got back into the car he said, with a smile :".... and I hope it's not used to dazzle plonkers who follow you too closely with their brights on."

joy ride
28th Nov 2014, 07:51
Bedford CA (snub-nosed) van: approach a corner, turn the steering wheel, wait a few seconds until the bow starts coming around.

Volvo 343 with Daf Variomatic transmission: accelerate to desired speed, hold throttle steady, engine slows down! Feels like a slipping clutch but vice-versa.

As others, like me, have had Austin 7 Countryman/Morris Mini Countryman/Mini Clubman Estate.....what incredible load carriers for such small cars! One memorable "road race" in Ireland: 9 people in my 1972 Mini Clubman Estate!

As is an MG Midget: bass drum on passenger seat, 2 floor toms behind seats, rack tom and snare in passenger foot well, cymbals and hardware in boot. Or roof down, Double Bass on passenger seat, Double Bass Operator sitting on boot clinging on to double bass, face fully exposed to blizzard and rain!

Shaggy Sheep Driver
28th Nov 2014, 09:40
My first car was a Beetle 1200, in 1970, a new one. It was awful! Slow, uncomfortable, lethal 'clap hands' rear suspension that nearly killed two of us on a rapid (by Beetle standards) night drive through North Wales to Abersoch, hot air heating that cooked your feet while you froze, and unreliable.

The clutch went at 12,000 miles, ditto the exhaust, and it rusted! Boy, was I glad to trade it in against a new Spitfire* in 1972!

*Triumph, not Supermarine unfortunately. But great fun none the less! So good, I bought another some years later.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
28th Nov 2014, 09:46
Shaggy, could not agree more. The Mk1 Scirocco in my opinion had it all. Italian styling coupled to German engineering and the driving pleasure was unrivalled at that time. Way better than the Mk1 golf.

Yes, I thought it so good that when I left that company to join a software house where I didn't get a company car, I went out and bought a Scirocco just like the one I'd had. I kept it a good few years, but sold it to a mate when rust hole started appearing in doors by the windows.

MadsDad
28th Nov 2014, 10:48
Back in my rallying days (I was navigator) one of my drivers modified his mini by filling the engine from a 1300GT. Worked well except that it persistently overheated and wouldn't start off a normal battery.

The starting problem was solved by fitting a second battery (to start flip switch to convert system to 24 volt, start car, switch second battery out; and remember to have all lights off when switching to 24volt, otherwise it got expensive on bulbs).

The overheating was cured by bolting an oil cooler (which came from a Rolls-Royce, bloody great thing, 96 row if memory serves) to he top of the engine and running the cooling system through that then the radiator. There was a hole cut in the bonnet to accommodate the cooler and with a box (looked like a ram-air box for the carbs).

And, Capetonian, the lamp bolted to the back trick was common on 60s/70s rally cars, just a 55w fog lamp was preferred (better light dispersal). Although having said that I did have a spot fitted - mate was flogging it cheap. Never got pulled for it though - I recall you needed an illuminated switch (or to have it wired to the gear linkage), that could have been the technicality. And it worked well on main-beam followers.

MagnusP
28th Nov 2014, 11:03
I forgot about the water spewing in through the heating ducts on the Audi. The battery compartment had a rubber drain valve which would perish and seal itself shut, water would build up and spew into the footwells. A colleague had exactly the same problem in his.

Effluent Man
28th Nov 2014, 11:12
I once had a customer whose Citroen GS packed up.We decided to push it round the back of the garage until we could look at it.It was then he discovered that without the engine running the brakes didnt work at all.He disappeared through a fence into some poor old biddy's flower bed.

seacue
28th Nov 2014, 11:21
Methinks it was my Volvo which had firewall inserts. On one side the insert was fashioned for the steering, etc. The other insert held the battery. Somehow a too-long self-tapping screw protruded into the battery side and ate a hole in the battery. This was discovered by battery acid dripping into the passenger footwell. I had materials for boat repair, so did a home fix with glass cloth and boat resin.

Volvos weren't perfect.

In fact, with snow tires on the rear, handling was "interesting".

Ancient Mariner
28th Nov 2014, 11:35
More car idiosyncrasies.
Citroen GS X-something.
Wanted to do a handbrake turn with new car, ended up in the snow. Hand brake on front wheels. :eek:
Needed new front brake pads, jacked up car, fitted supports, slid under car....no brake discs. :confused:
Found them, inboard. Slid further in under car, no calipers, no pads.
Removed supports, dropped car to ground opened bonnet, calipers on top of discs, picked out worn pads, fitted new ones. :hmm:
Clever, those French.
Per

ian16th
28th Nov 2014, 11:52
MadsDad
I recall you needed an illuminated switch That was the law.

I had a pair of 'reversing' lights that I fitted to my Imp Sport they came with an illuminated switch. They also came with slide over red lens' that converted them into high intensity rear fog lights.

It was amazing what you could buy from Exchange & Mart/Halfords in those days :ok:

You could buy heater hose by the foot! None of this overpriced moulded to shape stuff!

4mastacker
28th Nov 2014, 12:13
One of my uncles bought a very early model Imp; he said a heater was an optional extra. Was that right?

Capetonian
28th Nov 2014, 12:16
Yes, a heater was extra in the early Minis too, the ones that had horizontally sliding windows that wouldn't slide properly when it was cold or damp. Great design for a British car! They also had a rubber button on the floor to operate the solenoid for the starter.

Effluent Man
28th Nov 2014, 12:30
There was usually a bog basic version of most small cars.A few Mark1 Cortinas came with poverty spec,no front chrome grille,rubber matting etc.The Imp heater often didnt work anyway due to the fact that the pipes ran the length of the car from the engine to the radiator at the front clogged up.

G-CPTN
28th Nov 2014, 13:16
One reason that some cars were offered without heaters, was that, for years (until the 1950s) most cars didn't have heaters - then when they became standard on de-luxe models, the basic models were priced without the extras so that the manufacturers could claim that their models were 'cheaper' than the competition.

Of course this changed when the Japanese entered the UK market and started offering their models with included extras.

In the 1940s, a heater for a car was an accessory rather than a manufacturer's option - Smiths and KL come to mind.


http://www.oldclassiccar.co.uk/car-heaters.htm

MagnusP
28th Nov 2014, 13:44
My first car was a 1953 Morris Minor. It had an electric heater, so you didn't have to wait for the engine to warm up. Fortunately didn't have to wait for my then-girlfriend to heat up either, but the back seat was a bit cramped. :E

seacue
28th Nov 2014, 13:49
Heater?? Only for the posh. I have inherited "car robes" which one put over one's legs for warmth. Worked fine for the front-seat passenger ... what about the driver?

It is reported that I cried when the Model A Ford was turned in and the '36 Ford (American) delivered. I could no longer stand in front of the passenger seat and see through the windscreen. I suppose I was also growing too tall.

ian16th
28th Nov 2014, 13:59
4M
One of my uncles bought a very early model Imp; he said a heater was an optional extra. Was that right? On the basic model, yes.

Rootes/Chrysler were keen to have a car on their price list that was cheaper than a Mini.

The result was the 'Hillman Imp', without any suffix. This car was available only in white or blue, no options. No heater. Inside the car were rubber mats, no carpets. Inside the lifting rear window, where the seat back folded down, there was paint!

When I bought mine I was going for one of these. Remember this was my 1st ever new car, a big step! My local dealer, that I had bought several 2nd hand cars from, told me that he could do me a better deal with the Imp De Lux as there was a much bigger dealer mark up on the car.

So that's what I bought.

Of course nobody had the car in blue or white, as it could have been mistaken for the 'cheap one' :eek:

I had mine in a dark metallic green and I specified the optional fan on the heater! It also had a rubber mat on the back of the rear seats and the storage area back there. This cost me less than the basic Imp would have.

To put this in perspective this was in 1971.

421dog
28th Nov 2014, 14:39
Back with the Fiat 128, I had several.

The 1300cc engine was actually a good piece of equipment, and would turn 9k rpm all day without much complaint.

The rest of the car was junk.

The hideously engineered carburetor/air pump system to meet emission goals just didn't work

The suspension up front had a failure rotation:
Spider gear, cv, ball joint, repeat.

I got very adept at chopped needle bearing removal. I spent so much time under those damned things covered in 90 wt that I still have clothes (35 years later) that smell of it when warm.

The shop procedure for just about anything started with "first remove the engine and transmission from the vehicle (see chapter 2)...

joy ride
28th Nov 2014, 15:36
Actually, for decades heaters were not needed in UK cars because most were put into storage for Winter, or people just dressed to suit the weather.

I will not tolerate people criticising those Mini Countryman sliding windows! Their channels became natural habitat due to their perma-damp conditions. Moss, lichen and tiny flowers used to sprout from them giving a look like window boxes for dolls houses, and various types of small animal would take up residence. Besides, if your locks ever froze or you locked your keys inside, a few thumps would dislodge the "security catch" then you could slide the windows open!

Few cars have idiosyncrasies like old Morgan 3 wheelers;

touch the road with your finger tips while seated inside it

lean out while driving to watch the valve gear clicking away

...plus the number of hands required to drive one:

one to operate the windscreen wiper, one to keep the throttle lever in place, one to keep the mixture lever in place, one to keep the ignition lever in place, one to keep the gear lever in place, one to keep the hand brake lever off, and one to stop your paramour from falling out (off?) on fast corners.

Once Morgan replaced Tiller Steering with a steering wheel you needed yet another hand to steer!

ShyTorque
28th Nov 2014, 15:44
My first car was a 1953 Morris Minor. It had an electric heater, so you didn't have to wait for the engine to warm up. Fortunately didn't have to wait for my then-girlfriend to heat up either, but the back seat was a bit cramped.

We had the estate....not so cramped!

Mechta
28th Nov 2014, 15:58
Later Vauxhall Chevettes had a headlamp lens which sat proud of the sloping front bodywork instead of being down a tunnel. Water would get between the lens and the plastic reflector to which it was glued, then freeze, and jack the lens off. It would be retained by the rubber trim for a bit, but when airflow or a bump dislodged it, it would go bouncing or flying back over the car. I still have vivid memories of the thing coming at me when doing 75mph on the M3 one wet, dark, windy night; glancing off the windscreen and smashing to tiny pieces behind.

When contacted, Vauxhall claimed it was a one off. We pointed out that we had four Chevettes and three had done it, so they eventually came up with a 'z' shaped clip to hold the front of the lens down.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
28th Nov 2014, 16:02
1970, when I got my first car (horrid Beetle) a workmate got the affordable alternative - a basic 850 Mini. When it was his turn to drive down from Cheshire to a training course (in Southend) one prayed it wouldn't be a hot day.

On hot days the Mini's heater had to be full on as the radiator alone was insufficient to keep the engine coolant temp in limits (and this was a brand new car)! So we blasted down the M6 and MI on a 28 degree C day with the heater on full and the windows open (and they didn't open far enough to compensate for the full-on heater!).

Ancient Observer
28th Nov 2014, 16:11
Mr Colin Chapman did many smart things with his 60's/70's Lotus Elans.
However, he did 2 daft things.

1. A Ceramic "seal" where the drive for the water pump came out to the fan belt. As it was years ahead of its time, (modern ceramic scientists would now make it work), it was crap, and very inclined to leak water and break up.

2. The link between the rear diff and the wheels, where all the power went through, all 100 to 150 bhp of it, was a rubber doughnut from a 30bhp Hillman Imp. Mr CC was too lazy to design a decent UJ.

Other than that, those Lotus Elans were the best and prettiest cars ever......

Shaggy Sheep Driver
28th Nov 2014, 16:18
Other than that, those Lotus Elans were the best and prettiest cars ever......

Until Mazda came along and copied the looks and the handling, but built them properly!

LOTUS = Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious.

Kiltrash
28th Nov 2014, 16:36
Early 2.8 Granada Scorpio, with the bug eyed headlams, great car with the GO pedal, Overtook anything, hmm not so great with the STOP one.
Had to use the escape road at the bottom of the A2 at Dover more than once

3.5 Rover V8 Great car , metal sunroof that kept popping out and flying off the car, possible rust issue on mountings, but all did seem well, when low pressure over the roof at speed, lost at least 3 that I know off

Austin Maxi, could not fill more that half with fuel, or a huge smell of 4star, open boot and swimming in it, well it was a hire car, gave it back ASAP

vulcanised
28th Nov 2014, 16:46
Weren't we lucky we had Haynes Manuals to solve all those problems for us :rolleyes:

flydive1
28th Nov 2014, 17:00
What about the Renault 4, 5, etc. with the silencer under the front left fender, being hit by water, stones and so on, rusted as hell.

Mechta
28th Nov 2014, 17:04
Weren't we lucky we had Haynes Manuals to solve all those problems for us :rolleyes:As in, having tried all other methods of dismantling, you were forced to resort to cold chiselling it off. Only to read at the bottom of the paragraph that Mr Haynes had written, "Reassembly is reverse of removal".

The current manuals are even worse than the old ones. Generally you will be directed via at least three chapters (with grease covered hands) before you reach the torque, volume or dimension you were looking for. Just how difficult would it be to put the value required in brackets in the relevant paragraph?

Stanwell
28th Nov 2014, 17:19
Yep, Minis were fun.
A cloud would appear in the sky and they'd sputter to a stop!
Yet, in later years ('82 Mini Moke) they seemed to have gotten it right. The only obvious mod was a splash guard in front of the dizzy.
Sheer motoring looxury - no gloves, no plasticine, no vaseline..

In order to keep costs down, Leyland decided that the Moke didn't need a temperature gauge or even a warning light.

Great!
The first thing you knew about overheating was when the thing became quite slow and very smelly.


Happy days.

joy ride
28th Nov 2014, 18:58
Youthful winter weekend fun was to get as many friends as possible into my Mini Estate (I had three over about 6 years) and head for a disused icy lane through woods leading to West Malling aerodrome. Get up to about 20 or 30, yank the steering wheel, pull up the handbrake lever and pirouette along the road. Extra points if you could stop after several 360 degree spins and keep going in exactly the same direction. Never had any other car which was so easy to control and be silly in.

Did someone mention Vauxhall Shove it?

Sorry, I did not hear you....10 miles away someone is using the windscreen wipers on a Shove it...

Mechta
28th Nov 2014, 19:36
Sorry, I did not hear you....10 miles away someone is using the windscreen wipers on a Shove it...

Got the same problem on a Rover 45 at the moment. I bought a replacement wiper motor assembly off eBay, and now know why the scrappy cut the wires. The plug is resisting all efforts to come apart, despite opening the latch.

Back to the 'Shove It's; one used to blow the horn when using the indicators. Turned out to be a broken wire in the indicator stalk.

Blues&twos
28th Nov 2014, 21:01
My 1975 Mini Clubman estate (in delightful 'Tundra Green') had a splash guard over the electrics. I forgot to clip it back in place once and the next time I drove it, the alternator chewed a big hole in one end of the guard. Put it back, but without covering the hole up, so when it rained I had a misfire on the plug which was exposed to the weather.

Being a bit naive, I didn't twig that the cause was the rain, and with all my previous 'experience' decided to find out which cylinder was affected by pulling off and refitting the plug leads one at a time with the engine running. Oh yes. I very quickly and very painfully found the culprit.

Insulated pliers became a part of my diagnostics kit.

I eventually wrote the car off against two parked cars one summer's evening. I learned a lot in that first year after passing my test...

A A Gruntpuddock
28th Nov 2014, 21:13
First car was a faked-up Wolesley 1500 put into auction by a very large dealership so I assumed it was OK.

Went like the clappers but every so often one would hit a bump and a look in the mirror showed parts rolling across the road!

Completed one journey with the offside front wheel held in position by clothes line after the brake tie bar broke.

Used to carry the log book with me so I could just abandon it if necessary.

Jacked it up and the body twisted so much the doors wouldn't open because the interior cills had rusted away. :(:mad:

G-CPTN
28th Nov 2014, 21:20
Renault 4.

skyviewer
28th Nov 2014, 22:10
In the late 60's I was car mad & regularly had several cars at any one time to the frustration of my insurance broker who couldn't keep pace with my paperwork as I used to swop cover from one car to another all the time. I then gave up an engineering career to join up with a friend running a garage & car sales & very soon had 3 sites. So I can associate with these posts as we bought & sold most of the 1960's & 1970's everyday models.
Around 1975 I used a 1974 Austin Allegro 1750 Sport for a while until one day I realised the steering wheel was off-centre & the car steered slightly to one side. I mentioned it to the workshop foreman at the local British Leyland dealership & he smiled. "You have driven it up or parked it on a kerb". He explained that the Allegro had such a weak body structure that the body would twist. Their breakdown truck had to be replaced by a trailer after they had suspend-towed a few Allegro & Princess models & some windscreens had popped out. So I jacked up the other side of the Allegro to help straighten up the steering.

ShyTorque
28th Nov 2014, 22:29
Youthful winter weekend fun was to get as many friends as possible into my Mini Estate (I had three over about 6 years)

That's not many friends! :p

============================

An Austin Montego Turbo diesel..not a slow car in its day, by any means. We had one as our squadron hack. Problem was, the damned thing suddenly developed a mind of its own and ran away with the driver; very scary.

It was fairly new and had only been used locally on fairly slow journeys. But then the car had to be serviced by our MT section just before we had to take it on a long trip to the south of Germany.

It was then found that every time it got up to motorway cruising speed, the accelerator pedal inexplicably and suddenly moved down to fully open, all by itself. The turbo kicked in and off she went! It needed quite hard braking to get it back down to below 65 mph, whereupon the accelerator pedal popped back up again and it all came back under control.

After few of these episodes I stopped the car on the hard shoulder. At first it wasn't obvious what was happening. The accelerator cable and its arm were free to move. I noticed that the air intake assembly was a plastic box held inside the front grille, facing the incoming breeze, with two big plastic Zsus type fasteners to secure it to the back of the grille. BUT I realised that the fasteners had not been re-engaged properly (whoever serviced the air filter was a numpty), leaving it free to move to the rear if a moderate force was applied to it. In fact the air pressure ahead of the car forced the box backwards into the the accelerator lever assembly on the fuel pump, pushing it wide open.

jimtherev
28th Nov 2014, 22:48
Returning to the dreaded swing-axle rear suspension a la Triumph Herald, etc, my first car was the original Skoda Octavia.The ‘60’s one, like this:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/28404187/skoda.jpg
Taught me all I ever wanted to know about oversteer - frantically winding on opposite lock, wrong side of road, petrol tanker with white-faced driver uncomfortably close.
Positive side was it improved my situational awareness wonderfully, and in fact I learnt to convert it to my own purposes at roundabouts in the wet. Hard left lock with a touch of brake. Back steps out. Let go of the steering; castor action so strong that it immediately spins to opposite lock. As the back begins to break away again (we’re halfway round by now) let go of the steering again, and away she spins in the opposite direction. Then, when we’re facing about the way we want to go, centre the steering and lots of loud pedal.
It was crude, ugly, but strong, and lasted 5 years of that sort of treatment and many miles of bouncing along unmade roads on club rallies at the time. Never had such a fun car since.

G-CPTN
28th Nov 2014, 22:58
I started a new job with a new employer.

I was offered 'anything but a Montego' - the company had a fleet of petrol-engined Montegos for the sales engineers and service engineers, but had had to buy an extra vehicle to use as spare as they were so unreliable (ECU faults).

Another company had diesel Montego estates for their service engineers, and the engineers 'loved them' as they were so economical that they 'earned money' on the mileage allowance.

Windy Militant
28th Nov 2014, 23:09
Yes, a heater was extra in the early Minis too, the ones that had horizontally sliding windows that wouldn't slide properly when it was cold or damp.

The bruv had a Mini Van that the window runners corroded away to nothing thanks to the resident ecosystem. At this point the windows fell out. As he was a chippy he went down to the local timber yard and bought a length of wooden kitchen cupboard sliding door moulding. Cut to length and a bit of work with a plane and it fitted a treat.
It broke in half when he hit a dip on the bottom of a local hill a bit fast with seven or eight hundredweight of cement bags in it. :uhoh:
I had a Mini van which used to overheat, blow the vent pipe off the radiator and spray scalding hot water over the passengers feet. :eek:

cockney steve
28th Nov 2014, 23:49
@ metro mAny car where a cam belt failure results in the valves hitting the pistons.an said

WRONG! OHC 1600 Cortina , I only ever dealt with one that bent a valve.....2-litre, customer was just coasting to traffic lights when the belt snapped....It was the only 2 litre I ever had that didn't reqiure a head-off job.....new belt and he had it back in a half-hour or so.
EarlyCavalier FWD had hydraulic tappets...sometimes the belt went,sometimes the lifters pumped-up....camshaft, valves and pistons smashed, car usually a writeoff.
Volvo 240, B-series engine....had one where a load of teeth stripped from cambelt took a while to work out, as the car would always run, just sometimes good and sometimes bad.....never ever tangled valves. bombproof tanks.
Marinas with the dreaded trunnions and top-ball-joints...usually an annual MOT replacement.
Minis,rear subframes,the horrid shimmed ball-pins (like the Marina's in miniature) the dreadful drum brakes......

allagro....name says it all,really......
Manky (Maxi) A stodgy bus but excellent motorway- cruiser crankshaft -pulley bolt vanished off mine.......then about a yearlater,the flywheel fell off....all bolts and dowels failed.....I earned every penny while I drove that one for 65K miles..drove Inverness-Southend with the expansion tank pipe rerouted and taped to the bonnet....anything over ~65 and it dumped water (head gasket gone) eased off every time it started spitting and stopped periodically to topit up.
came back with a Cortina Mk 3 estate. great car did~70K C ompany wanted £1100 for it and I only wanted to give 900.
Only issue was alternator went (Prince of Darkness struck again) and the repair lasted less than 3 months...i refused to pay , stating the warranty repair should be fit for purpose and not a lashup to get it out of waranty. Kicked up a stink and stealership backed down....a couple of years later, I had my own garage-business. took great delight in telling their rep why I wasn't buying my Ford parts from them!:}

HB Viva 1600 estate... great car for a 21 year old ! lovely gearbox, brilliant handling on Avons, but exhaust fell off weekly at manifold, halfshaft snapped, dizzy oil seal failed and it pumped oil all over the points Another 65K miler company car.

Sherpa vans....special king-pin grease which nobody (except me!) stocked. radial thrust bearings would disintegrate and steering was then a toil.. Petrol-tank suffered unduly from rust as well.

Vercingetorix
29th Nov 2014, 00:58
Jaguar XJS
The throttle stuck open while exiting the Heathrow tunnel.

Takan Inchovit
29th Nov 2014, 02:07
The early model Ford Prefect had one virtue. Once it was on its side it wouldn't roll over any further.

Solar
29th Nov 2014, 04:04
Newish car annoyance.
Our 2010 Mazda 6 which is an excellent car in all respects has one annoyance with the potential to be dangerous.
When at slow speed or stopped and needing to turn right quickly the engine will hesitate when steering angle, G force and throttle are at a pre-set parameters. I say turn right as in the UK it invariably occurs when stopped or slowed waiting on a gap in the oncoming traffic whilst waiting to turn right. It will occur in a left turn also. It has to do with the directional stability control DSC, the DSC indication will come on at the same time. This facility can be switched of but defaults to on.
Several months of correspondence with Madza resulted in them arranging a test drive in the new model 6 which in their words does the same thing!!! This logic escaped me and when asking for an explanation correspondence seems to have dried up.
Any spirited driving requires the DSC turned of, rather at odds with Mazdas Zoom Zoom adverts.

ChrisVJ
29th Nov 2014, 04:19
I was, nominally, the sales manager for Unipower Cars for a few months. The demonstrator weighed about 9cwt and had a Mini Cooper S 1300 engine behind the seats. Incredibly noisy. At ninety the front used to lift a little and it got progressively worse till about 110 when there was pretty well no steering at all. If we put some weight in the front luggage compartment we could get it to about 125mph indicated. No one had really thought of front skirts for road cars in those days.

Bought a second hand black Citroen Safari being sold by a film producer because "it won't go over eighty." Turned out they hadn't adjusted the throttle linkage after the running in period. Damn thing went like a train. used to cruise to S of France at easily over 100 mph with the back full of kids and gear, skis, toboggans, bathroom scales, full pro. photo gear, clothes for three months etc. Only two minor beefs. One, the foot well got hot as hell from engine heat, two, strange stares from the French who thought we were driving a hearse.

Long car by UK standards. Went on a film once, up at five, drive to location, work till five or six. Very, very, very tired. Walked round back of car, got in, "Sh*t, someone's stolen my steering wheel." Turned out I was sitting in the back.

Loved that car.

Early big Ford Zephyr I drove for a hire car company. Always exited a roundabout with a 'waggle.' Front end had the directionality of a motor boat without a rudder.

John Hill
29th Nov 2014, 04:58
my first car was the original Skoda Octavia.

I am sure the Octavia had the 'interesting' handling that you describe but for something really exciting, in that vein, there could have hardly been anything more exciting than a Trekka...

http://www.city-data.com/forum/members/asubram3-677160-albums-cars-pic86230-car2a-trekka.jpg

A small van built in NZ on a Skoda chassis.

Cue the idiot in the pooftermobile to be along soon!

Crepello
29th Nov 2014, 05:01
I gather that until quite recently, the Citroen DS would work racecourses as a mobile camera platform - presumably as the smooth ride was unparalleled.

As for me... first UK car was a 1989 Vauxhall Nova, AM-only radio that was inaudible when the wipers were on. 4-speed box and almost entirely bereft of comforts... but served me well and sounds more comfortable than the older vehicles described above! Fond memories of the 'hacks' needed to keep dad's/uncles' fleets of 70s/80s cars in service.

First US car was a 1999 Dodge Durango with the 5.9l V8; more for towing than muscle but great fun to drive. Didn't reach 60k miles before the engine blew; dated design and terrible engineering. Nowadays drive an F-150 which I enjoy every mile of.

Solar's experience reminds me of a VW Passat rental on a recent UK visit - hence manual trans. Strongly disliked the electric handbrake, but the engine eco-shutdown was dangerous crap, killing power in several inopportune situations. Was happy to hand that one back.

UniFoxOs
29th Nov 2014, 05:22
Discovered that when I rented a Volksmangle in Hanover earlier this year. Engine stopping at every set of lights in the city, PITA. Eventually found you could turn the feature off - BUT it comes back on nest time you start.

Capetonian
29th Nov 2014, 05:31
Reading all this does bring back some nostalgia. One of my first cars was a Singer Gazelle estate which I bought in UK for a trip to Europe and Morocco, I drove about 10,000 miles in a couple of months without it missing a beat.

Part of the throttle linkage ran across the front of the passenger footwell, meaning that the passenger could press down and rev the engine. A 'friend' discovered this and would do it in traffic, at lights, and so on. Luckily it wasn't a powerful car or the results could have been serious!

Stanwell
29th Nov 2014, 05:34
Just in my experience, if there was anything worse handling than the early Veedubs, it was the Austin A40 Somerset.

ian16th
29th Nov 2014, 06:07
Returning to the dreaded swing-axle rear suspension a la Triumph Herald, etc,In the early 60's in Cyprus, swing-axle cars were a particular disaster.

A lot of the roads were rather narrow and well cambered, with a strip of 'bondu' at the side. When cars coming in opposite directions were about to collide, the local custom dictated that each driver veered slightly to the left and dropped his/her near side wheels into the bondu.

Renault Dauphine's and Simca 1000's tended to roll under these circumstances. Most Sunday mornings there was one or two littering the roadside.

jimtherev
29th Nov 2014, 08:49
I am sure the Octavia had the 'interesting' handling that you describe but for something really exciting, in that vein, there could have hardly been anything more exciting than a Trekka...

http://www.city-data.com/forum/members/asubram3-677160-albums-cars-pic86230-car2a-trekka.jpg

A small van built in NZ on a Skoda chassis.ue the idiot in the pooftermobile to be along soon!

Yerss. A major problem (solved by taking at least one leaf out of the transverse rear spring :eek:) was that the chassis was common to all models of car and light commercial. [One heavy-gauge 140mm tube running up the centre, with u-channel outriggers - nothing else! Engine screwed onto front end, rear suspension onto back, body and front suspension on one outrigger or other.


Made it a good universal chassis, of course; all Czech light commercials, even ambulances used the identical one. No variation in damping or spring rate: one size fits all. So I can imagine it would have been attractive to "special" builders.


As delivered, the car had positive camber until loaded. It looks like the Trekka also had a fairly lightweight body and would have been ok with a load of building material in the back - but not otherwise.

Takan Inchovit
29th Nov 2014, 09:24
I loved a review of the Trekka, NZ Trekka Review and History - www.mister-cars.com (http://www.mister-cars.com/Article/NZ-Trekka-Review-And-History/1183/)

This Land Rover look-alike is a real head-turner. People look the other way.

:}

Effluent Man
29th Nov 2014, 10:25
I had to chuckle about the Somerset. My friend's brother had one and the front shock absorbers were knackered. I remarked on how it went up and down like a boat in rough seas. He said "It handles like a turd in a pisspot"

AtomKraft
29th Nov 2014, 12:54
I have a Sunbeam Tiger.
Idiosyncrasies include driving with one eye on temp gauge, one eye on fuel gauge and one eye on oil pressure gauge.
With ones remaining eye, one scans for speed cameras and navigates the thing.

Also, 'Tiger foot' syndrome, ie one very hot one, and one normal one is To be expected, due to that hot box....

Shaggy Sheep Driver
29th Nov 2014, 13:35
A colleague of mine emigrated to our Philadelphia office in the US. I was later involved with a bid based out of that office so flew over there, and he met me at the airport; his car was a massive 1950s or 60s Chevrolet Impala.

It rolled and pitched worse than any ferry I'd been on in the worst weather, and as I looked back at it after he'd parked it it was wobbling like a jelly just out of its mould. An hour later when we came back to it, it was still wobbling!*

*OK, slight exaggeration. But only slight!

ian16th
29th Nov 2014, 15:15
AK

I have a Sunbeam Tiger.Is it LHD or RHD?

The RHD ones are the rarest.

The car was canned at the time of the Chrysler take over of Rootes.

Chrysler refused to have anything to do with a Ford supplied engine, and there wasn't a Chrysler one that could be fitted. So a nice care died.:mad:

goudie
29th Nov 2014, 15:53
I read in a motoring magazine that one company used the range of Ford Cortinas as it's pecking order in the company. It went from the MD's Ghia down to a basic two door model for a junior salesman. When one particuar junior salesman asked why he had a two door car he was told 'it's because Fords didn't make a one door car!'

My company reckoned that it lost two working days, per manager per year, due to us spending time going through the various manufacturer's brochures trying to decide on the company car models we were entitled to, with the best list of 'bells and whistles.'

G-CPTN
29th Nov 2014, 16:02
I got a Cavalier - the MD had a Senator.

Mind you, the Cavalier was a 2 litre (though not a CD - just a GL).

ian16th
29th Nov 2014, 16:04
Goudie

My company reckoned that it lost two working days, per manager per year, due to us spending time going through the various manufacturer's brochures trying to decide on the company car models we were entitled to, with the best list of 'bells and whistles.' They are not unique!

The company that I worked for here in SA was similar. At one time my position entitled me to a Sierra 2.0l GL, and I could have metallic paint and auto box if I chose. At the time Ford SA announced a Sierra 3.0l LX, which was cheaper than the 2.0l GL and I fancied one. But my request was vetoed on the grounds that only 'executives' can have a 3.0l engine. :sad:

Crepello
29th Nov 2014, 16:13
And... within 24h of recounting my Dodge frustrations, a co-worker just requested help outside. Her 2013 Dart was barely ticking over, sounding like it had been incorrectly fuelled. It hadn't.

Indeed, turns out a recall was issued so recently that we couldn't find details online. Her dealer sent a tow-truck over but she's not 21 yet, so is too young for a loaner vehicle. Way to go, Chrysler - another satisfied customer! :ugh:

olympus
29th Nov 2014, 16:29
Back in the seventies had a new Lancia Fulvia S3 (HTW 127N where are you now?) - pretty car, not bad to drive but a pig to start when the weather was cold/damp (as someone said 'an Italian car - likes the sunshine'). I lost count of the number of times I was late for work because I'd had to remove the spark plugs and stick them under a hot grill to dry them out before I could get the thing going.

Krystal n chips
29th Nov 2014, 16:56
Had a Mini Clubman estate.....complete with moss growth in vary amounts on the woodwork. The little green light on the indicator stalk was "temperamental" .....when it was dry weather, it simply didn't illuminate....when it was "moist"...it worked perfectly.

Being at Valley at the time, it generally worked on alternate days.....

Great little car for carrying junk in, and sleeping in... in the wilds of Snowdonia at certain isolated pubs where you could enjoy the pubs offerings, and then quietly retire for the night with the blessing of the landlord in the car park.....a different era as they say.

The Austin 1800 as operated by HM Gov't had a hitherto unknown defect when being used in Denmark....the speedo cable was prone to disconnection it seemed.....strangely, at weekends. As always, this was a management induced fault in that an air travel option was available, but, sadly, this free offer was rebutted by those in high places several hundred kms away.

victor tango
29th Nov 2014, 17:37
Met someone at my Brother in laws funeral recently who I havnt seen for about 50 years.

He said I remember following you in your Wolsey 6-80.
Blimey says I .... I passed my test in that.
He said you drove fast and there were sparks spewing out the back.
REALLY says I ....why didnt you tell me, it could have been dangerous:eek:

Ive been thinking since...................I wonder what it was?????

G-CPTN
29th Nov 2014, 17:55
My early working life was testing vehicles, and I got a range of them to drive.
A Cadillac Sedanca de Ville came my way and I set off south down the M1 from Junction 10.
I was soon travelling at an indicated 120 miles an hour (pre-70 limit) and I was impressed by the quietness and the smooth ride.
I took the slip-road exit at Junction 8.
In those days, the exit sliproad was shared with the on-sliproad, was two-way and was very 'tight' - ie it was a tight radius.

As I negotiated the sharp left bend the 'weakness' in the handling became more and more apparent, and the oncoming traffic more and more threatening.

I learned at lot about American luxury cars that day!

pulse1
29th Nov 2014, 18:08
He said I remember following you in your Wolsley 6-80.
Blimey says I .... I passed my test in that.

Golly, the first car I ever owned. I taught my girlfriend to drive in it and, much to the annoyance of the driving instructor I was waiting with, she passed first time. I reckoned that the examiner was impressed that a young lady could handle such a big powerful car (in it's day).

The only problem I ever had with it was trying to change the brake shoes. A previous owner had put a punch behind the 6 grub screws which held the brake drums on so that they would never come out. I had to take off the hubs. Fortunately my dad ran a garage with all the facilities.

victor tango
29th Nov 2014, 18:27
Pulse1
My Wolsey 6-80 was an ex police car. I think it drank oil at the same rate as the petrol!!!!

John Hill
29th Nov 2014, 19:44
The Riley 'RM' series had rod brakes on the back and hydraulics on the front. The master cylinder was in series and moved with the action of the rear brakes.
The drive shaft was enclosed and the drive thrust was taken on a pair of rubber trunnions near the rear of the gear box, such things wear with age.

Going over a bump would sometimes jolt the rear axle rearwards which immediately applied four brakes! Fortunately the brakes were not all that effective.

Driving up hill had to be done without stopping which made for some interesting moments in Wellington. Attempting to hold it from rolling back on the brakes caused the rear axle to move forward and the rods to slacken which rendered the hydraulic master cylinder inoperative and the brake pedal went to the floor. The hand brake, by a masterful stroke of British engineering only pulled on the rear brake rods and contributed nothing at all when parked on a hill.

Can you reverse a heavy car with a pitiful rear window 30mph through city traffic. I only did it once!

JWP1938
30th Nov 2014, 10:19
I had an ex Police Wolseley 6/80 also. Because it had a bench front seat, and Plod used to put a prisoner between them in the front sometimes, the gear stick had been moved and mounted alongside the driver's seat right next to the door. Over the years the linkage had worn and it was a bugger to get into reverse. There was a plate in the roof where the ariel had been removed. With a 2 litre engine it was quite nippy and the fact that it was a Police-type Wolseley meant that almost everybody slowed down and moved over to let you pass when they saw you in their mirror. Quite handy when you were in a hurry.

ShyTorque
30th Nov 2014, 10:28
Driving up hill had to be done without stopping which made for some interesting moments in Wellington. Attempting to hold it from rolling back on the brakes caused the rear axle to move forward and the rods to slacken which rendered the hydraulic master cylinder inoperative and the brake pedal went to the floor. The hand brake, by a masterful stroke of British engineering only pulled on the rear brake rods and contributed nothing at all when parked on a hill.

They sold those ones exclusively to New Zealanders (not nearly so much of a laugh to be had at the expense of the Dutch).

Capetonian
30th Nov 2014, 10:43
I had one of these, fanatastic car, and because the motorway cops used them it also got a bit of respect.
https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSai0Swy2LsaP0fTr3X9yV1WdL2SUnCVxjnssPjA0D yQ0fDenNh

It's easy to spot the difference though :

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSQBBcHB70LOwqZOVeMCAAqumsKFI5CGqsX6_YHQRA HFcEAA-xKrA

John Hill
30th Nov 2014, 17:14
....the gear stick had been moved and mounted alongside the driver's seat right next to the door.

I thought that was the standard location for the gear stick on some models of Wolseley?

victor tango
30th Nov 2014, 17:29
Cars that fascinated me back in the 60s were;

V8 Pilot

Jowett Javelin

Standard Vanguard

Riley Pathfinder. beautiful design on a par with the Jag. Running boards!

Metropolitan Nash

I was driving a bubble car at the time and could only dream of the above...couldnt even afford an Austin A35!

John Hill
30th Nov 2014, 17:46
Riley Pathfinder. beautiful design on a par with the Jag. Running boards!

.....another car with the gear lever by the door..

http://www.philseed.com/images/rmpathgear.jpg

goudie
30th Nov 2014, 18:02
couldn't even afford an Austin A35!Newly married and a reasonably well paid ( Mrs G also worked) RAF corporal techie I was fortunate enough to own one in the early 60's.
I fitted a PICO exhaust booster on the tail pipe, which had twin chrome pipes. I convinced myself that it went 5 mph faster for doing so, especially after a few shots of Red-Ex and a good polish! Mrs G worked for Pye's radio and bought me a push button radio for a tenner, including fitting. I recall driving around Cambridge, window down, with it blaring out:O
There is one in my home town and whenever I see it parked up I wonder how I ever managed to fit into it.

victor tango
30th Nov 2014, 18:10
goudi
Must admit when I see old cars Im amazed at how cramped they were.
And the steering wheels were SO thin I wouldnt be able to grip one now!

victor tango
30th Nov 2014, 18:12
john hill
Thanks but a lovely pic of the Riley Pathfinder would be nice....set it as my desktop!

John Hill
30th Nov 2014, 18:24
Like this?
http://s00.yaplakal.com/pics/pics_original/9/2/2/1310229.jpg

cockney steve
30th Nov 2014, 18:24
Blimey, Cape, Nause stalgia's a wonderous thing....ever attempted to rig the exhaust on one, so it didn't rattle somewhere? attempted to get some leverage from the 6" long handbrake that pulled a half-mile of cable through assorted eyes and tubes on the way to the rear swing-axle IRS? (Welded one back in, where the owner ripped it off the tunnel)
The windscreen with the rubber encased in a chrome (or Stainless) crust of a different contour? (cow to fit,leaked from the factory!)

Like Jim, I had a '66 Octavia....pink plastic back lights, built-in radiator- blind,(you pulled a bog-chain to unroll it and had to slow right down for it to self-furl) Cork seals in the steering box, leather ones in the rear hubs....huge finned aluminium brake-drums with cast/shrunk in iron liners...gear lever sprung to "wrong" side of the gate...had to hold it across when going from 1 to2 otherwise it was 1 to top.
Front and back screens were identical. the thick driver's manual (which i think I still have:8 ) was printed on coarse, rapidly yellowing paper of somewhat lower quality than newspaper It explained how the driver, in the event of a broken windscreen, , should replace it with the back-screen and continue their journey.....there was a starting- handle.

The chassis, as I recollect, was a lump of massive steam-pipe . bolted to the back end, which was flanged, was the diff. welded to the front, were 2 girders that projected forward at about 45* to the centre line and then bent to run parallel....the engine sat between them, the front suspension was bolted on either side and the prop-shaft went through the steam-pipe. 4 outriggers mounted the body on big rubbers.

Very smug when MOT tester wanted to fail it on a hole in the sill...I pointed to the structural steelwork and said "sills are non-structural" Due to another driver missing a red light at a crossroads, mine was hit in the side and slammed into a RSJ-reinforced post on the corner -building....to make certain, the other car,with 4 occupants, spun and smacked the Octavia's boot hard enough to arch the bodyshell in the middle....I was unconcious some hours and several days in hospital.

Still not sure if the car nearly killed me,or saved me :confused:

Was great fun to chuck about on those big, slow-revolving, pothole-bridging 15" wheels.
Chromework was so poor ,it sprouted pimples which burst like miniature volcanoes, spewing streaks of rust. fortunately,most "brightwork" was plain aluminium which just went a dull grey....no, they probably hadn't heard of Anodising!

Pride and Clarke of Brixton were sole importers, postal spares service was excellent, one had to DIY as no garage knew anything about them....I only ever saw 2 others locally, 1 in Southend, the other in Leigh.

victor tango
30th Nov 2014, 18:31
john hill

ORGASMIC:D:D:D

John Hill
30th Nov 2014, 18:32
Cockney Steve, Skoda roadster for young man about town....

http://www.madle.org/og06skodafelir.jpg

pulse1
30th Nov 2014, 19:09
Because my father ran a garage, as soon as I could drive, I was allowed to drive customer cars so experienced a lot of the cars which were common in the 50s. Of course common cars in the 50s were often much older than that. I do remember driving a Riley Pathfinder because I nearly lost it approaching a narrow stone bridge while delivering it back to the customer.

In those days, driving different cars was so much more interesting because they were all different. The garage was on a hill so you had to be good at hill starts even when you didn't know where the gears were and how the handbrake worked. The first time I drove an MG sports car I gave up trying a hill start because I couldn't get the handbrake off. It was then I learned about "knock off handbrakes".

Another feature from those days was the "preselector gearbox" which could also get one into a lot of trouble. One of my father's mechanics dropped a Daimler, or was it a Lanchester, into the inspection pit because someone had left it with a gear selected and only needing operation of the engagement pedal (clutch) to go unexpectedly into gear.

The third feature from those times was the "fixed/free wheel" which was on most Rovers up until the late 50's and Saabs until well into the 70's I believe. My father had a 1938 Triumph Gloria with such a device. The control was between the front seats and my friends used to quietly engage the free wheel without my knowledge just as I was coming into a corner and expecting to use engine braking. Great days!

ExSp33db1rd
30th Nov 2014, 20:24
Idiosyncrasies - Automatic central locking of all doors on my Toyota Vista once one exceeds about 5 kmh. i.e. almost every manoeuvre one makes,and I always forget to unlock them when I stop, so walk around to remove some object from the pax. seat - and find the door locked.

Grrrr ! Catches me every time.

seacue
30th Nov 2014, 20:34
Mr b1rd,

Automatic 4-door locking is common in the USA ... may even be a requirement. There is a 4-door UNlocking rocker switch on the driver's-side door of my made-in-Japan car..

Shaggy Sheep Driver
30th Nov 2014, 20:57
When I was about 18 I got a dream holiday job from college. Driver to a friend of my dad's who (not my dad) had medial problem and couldn't drive (I think the real reason, looking back, was he was an alcoholic). He (the friend) had a big Rover V8. His dad (who ran the company) had a massive Daimler which I also drove sometimes, and his works manager had a V4 Corsair, also one I got to drive.

The Rover V8 impressed me particularly with its power, and its silence (we had a Viva as family car then, if I remember right).

Another of my dad's mates, on hearing this, employed 18 year old me as his chauffeur for a while. He had a 3.8 Jag like the one Morse drove.

Tough job, but someone had to do it!

One Saturday night 'Mr Jag' called by and he, his Mrs, and my parents went to the local RAFA club in my dad's car. I was looking a bit glum as I had no transport.

"Take the Jag", say's Tony (my dad's mate), tossing me the keys. "Just be back by 1 o'clock when I'll need it to get home".

18 years old, with a 3.8 Jag! My then girlfriend was well impressed (!). And I even got the car back in time!

No-one seemed to worry about insurance etc back then (late 1960s).

G-CPTN
30th Nov 2014, 21:08
No-one seemed to worry about insurance etc back then (late 1960s).
Probably because cars were insured for 'any driver'.

It was later when the insurance companies wised-up and started to impose exclusions for 'young drivers' with the age varying.

ShyTorque
30th Nov 2014, 21:40
Pulse1,

The first car I ever got to drive (illegally, because I was only about twelve years old) was an Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire. That had a pre-selector gearbox. It had a "replica gearchange" sticking out from the steering column, with a miniature gearstick to move across the gates. I also recall some local buses having the same arrangement.

G-CPTN
30th Nov 2014, 21:49
https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7136/13424270645_0e645e8649_n.jpg

Loose rivets
30th Nov 2014, 23:37
Little gates on the steering column.

If you want to see domestic car complexity, download the Hudson Terraplane pdf. c 1938, it was bewilderingly difficult to service and pages go by and you're only on the clutch.


Here's some of it. A local car had a stick shift put in the gearbox because the UK garages after the war were quite incapable of diagnostics. Mind you, I was full of admiration for our little local garage to be able to mod it at all.

http://www.hudsonterraplane.com/tech/1935/1935-38ElectricHandTechInfo.pdf

RJM
1st Dec 2014, 02:10
That link seems to be a dud, LR, but didn't the Hudson have something called the 'Magic Hand' involved in gear changing?

John Hill
1st Dec 2014, 03:11
I think there were a few attempts in Britain at electric cluthes etc. IIRC one Austin attempt had a clutch that was filled with iron filings which clumped together when a current was passed through them.

RJM
1st Dec 2014, 03:32
They did that without the current!

ExSp33db1rd
1st Dec 2014, 06:42
There is a 4-door UNlocking rocker switch on the driver's-side door of my made-in-Japan car.. Agreed - one just has to remember to unlock it before getting out !

One needs a check list for this car
1) Stop
2) Place Gear shift in Park
3) Apply left foot to engage Park Brake -v- handbrake.
4) Electrically wind up windows whilst engine is still running ( to preserve battery power)
5) Switch off radio
6) Cancel air conditioning / heating controls
7) Turn off headlights'
7) Unlock central locking to release all doors
8) Release boot catch - if goods are to be removed.
9) Get out.
10) Search for house key -optional or
11) Mentally make an aide-memoire of position in town / car park to assist returning to the vehicle
12) Return to driver's door to activate 7) - usually forgotten.

if using item 11 assess whether a parking fee is required, then go mad trying to make the parking meter accept your credit card / txt message and keep asking why the bl**dy things don't take cash anymore ?

Adjust order of the above to suit personal preference.

Have a beer, now required to re-establish ones' equanimity and laissez faire.

World's Gone Mad.

ian16th
1st Dec 2014, 06:43
John

IIRC one Austin attempt had a clutch that was filled with iron filings which clumped together when a current was passed through them. Rootes had one of these on a Hillman Minx.

Didn't last for long.

Edited to add:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/andymurkin/Hillman/Hillinfo/Easidrive.html

Rwy in Sight
1st Dec 2014, 07:31
ExSp33db1rd,

In most car I know of air-condition and radio shut off automatically when you kill the engine. And when you pull the handle to open the door all doors automatically unlock.

Why do you run such a long check-list?


Rwy in Sight

VP959
1st Dec 2014, 07:32
The first car I ever got to drive (illegally, because I was only about twelve years old) was an Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire. That had a pre-selector gearbox. It had a "replica gearchange" sticking out from the steering column, with a miniature gearstick to move across the gates. I also recall some local buses having the same arrangement.

By pure coincidence, the first car I ever "drove" (at around 11 or 12) was also an Armstrong Siddeley, but a Thirty. It was my grandfathers pride and joy, and he let me drive it down their drive and back. It was memorable for two reasons; I had to sit on a cushion and all I could really see was that long bonnet and headlights the size of dustbins, rather than where I was going, and because on the return trip down the drive I nearly ran over my grandmothers foot...................

Nervous SLF
1st Dec 2014, 07:43
When I was working my company had a luxury Toyota and those doors locked above 5Kph but you couldn't just open the
drivers door to unlock all doors. You had to use an unlocking button to open all doors.

ExSp33db1rd
1st Dec 2014, 07:58
In most car I know of air-condition and radio shut off automatically when you kill the engine. And when you pull the handle to open the door all doors automatically unlock.

I'll grant you that, I usually turn off the radio so that it doesn't start up as soon as one re-starts, just a foible I guess.

But no, opening the driver's door doesn't open all the others, and there is no option to reject the auto-lock system once forward motion is detected, and if one tries to manually move the lock catch, it promptly snaps back, usually catching ones' finger, as well.

Our "other" Japanese car has a rocker switch on the driver's door that gives one the option to lock/unlock all doors. We usually leave that severely alone. Unless one is travelling with young children, in which case "kiddy locks" come into play, just what is the point of locking all doors whilst travelling in "normal" places, 'course, if one is likely to drive through areas where hijacking/carjacking is a known hazard, then there is a point - otherwise ..... ??

What happens if one is involved in an accident, and well meaning bystanders try to open a passenger door to assist exit ?

goudie
1st Dec 2014, 08:15
I was 17 yrs old, had just passed my test but didn't own a car. One Summer's evening I had a 'hot date' lined up and anxious to impress her I asked my brother in law if I could borrow his Austin Chummy (for the first time) as he and my sister were off to the cinema. Wearing a clean white shirt and a smart suit I went out to start the car. In spite of many swings of the handle she refused to start. I checked the plugs etc but no joy. With time running out I had to leap on my bike and race the 4 miles or so to her house. Arriving late and somewhat dishevelled didn't impress her and we spent the evening with her parents!
Next morning having told my b-i-l I couldn't start the :mad: car he went out to do so. He lifted the bonnet and moved something on the bulkhead, 'what was that you did?'', I enquired. '' I turned the petrol on, I thought you knew about that'' said he. Car started first swing of the handle!:{

ian16th
1st Dec 2014, 08:33
Ah starting handles!

Being the former owner of two Imp's, I well remember the funny looks I received when 'winding it up' at the boot :eek:

pvmw
1st Dec 2014, 08:38
If you want to see a proper engine with a starting handle, watch the video on this link (2nd picture down).

The Beast Of Turin Lives Again ? The S76 Fiat Racing Car Start Up | The Old Motor (http://theoldmotor.com/?p=133946)

Awesome isn't the word for it. 4 cylinders - and 28 litres!!!!!!

pulse1
1st Dec 2014, 08:39
My rather aged father started his garage business in 1906 and he hated modern cars, i.e. 1950's. So his cars were all old and interesting.

He taught me to drive in an Austin 6 which had a 6 cylinder side valve engine and no synchromesh on any of the 4 gears. That certainly taught you how to change gear properly. That car was replaced by a huge Austin which would be described in today's world as a limo. It was very powerful, thirsty and had huge balloon tyres. The outstanding feature was that it had built in hydraulic jacks for each wheel.

He then bought the aforementioned Triumph Gloria which, for me as a teenager who loved motor sport was a great car. It had a sporty little gear lever, wire wheels with knock off hubs and a Coventry Climax engine which was the basis of Formula 1 cars in the 50's.

The last car he had was a Renault Juvoquatre which was an amazing little car with a tiny 4 cylinder side valve engine. The outstanding feature of that car was the foot operated starter. This meant that you had to be careful not to stall the engine in traffic because, unless you had four feet available, you had to put it into neutral and engage the hand brake before you could restart. I know you should do that anyway but, for a young macho driver that just made it more embarrassing.

Alloa Akbar
1st Dec 2014, 09:36
G-CPTN - An old Routemaster bus perchance??

I used to have a 1992 Toyota MR2, great little thing, apart from its tendency to try and face the opposite direction whenever I had the audacity to move the steering wheel.. Much like driving a Go-kart.. huge grin factor though!

G-CPTN
1st Dec 2014, 11:31
At one stage I acquired a small foreign car (Renault (http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/february-1956/22/impressions-renault-750-frelec-automat)?) which had the clutch operated by a switch in the gear-lever knob - which meant that whenever you touched the gearlever, the clutch disengaged.
I found it almost impossible to drive as I had a habit of holding the gearlever.

The vehicle was short-lived (in my ownership) as the wet-liners seemed incapable of keeping the coolant out of the cylinders.

sitigeltfel
1st Dec 2014, 14:11
Many moons ago one of my fathers employees had a three wheeler (Bond?) with a single cylinder two-stroke engine. To start it he had to lift the bonnet, put a leg inside and kick-start the engine.
On cold days it looked like a scene from Fawlty Towers as he tried to boot the thing into life.

G-CPTN
1st Dec 2014, 14:52
http://www.whitehavenandwesternlakeland.co.uk/vintage2008/mbond.jpg

The Bond Minicar was produced by Sharps Industrials of Preston. The cars were powered initially by a single-cylinder two-stroke Villiers engine of 122 cc (7 cu in) which had the disadvantage of a kick start. In December 1949 this was upgraded to a 197 cc (12 cu in) unit. The engine was further upgraded in 1958, first to a single-cylinder 247 cc (15 cu in) and then to a 247 cc (15 cu in) twin-cylinder Villiers 4T.
These air-cooled engines were developed principally as motorcycle units and therefore had no reverse gear, however, this was a minimal inconvenience, because the engine, gearbox and front wheel were mounted as a single unit and could be turned by the steering wheel up to 90 degrees either side of the straight-ahead position, enabling the car to turn within its own length.

http://www.historyworld.co.uk/content/bond.jpg

Null Orifice
1st Dec 2014, 14:56
G-CPTN

Perhaps it was a Dauphine with the Ferlec automatic clutch system?

I nearly became the owner of a similarly-equipped machine when serving in Gibraltar in the late 1950s; however, common sense prevailed and I bought a Sunbeam Talbot 90 instead. Fine vehicle, although its rust-resistance was found wanting in the salt-laden atmosphere.

G-CPTN
1st Dec 2014, 15:06
Perhaps it was a Dauphine with the Ferlec automatic clutch system?
No, it was the earlier 750, but also with the Ferlec clutch:-
http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/february-1956/22/impressions-renault-750-frelec-automat

I never really got to drive it as the wet-liners kept leaking, and after several attempts I gave up.

goudie
1st Dec 2014, 18:53
UEIn8GJIg0E

While we're on the subject of cars/driving etc take a look at this

Note the pedestrians trying to cross the road!:eek:

Nervous SLF
1st Dec 2014, 18:55
goudi, you are a genius posting that you-tube clip only once. Please tell me how you managed it Please.

John Hill
1st Dec 2014, 19:25
There was a little Suzuki LC10W two stroke 358cc coupe in our family for many years. A real jewel of a tiny car but it had a few 'features' to bear in mind. A cold engine could not be started without a foot on the clutch as the starter could not turn a cold gear box, care was required driving at night as the alternator drag with headlights on was likely to stall the engine if allowed to idle.

Last, but not least, forget everything you have been told by MG owners et al about balancing carbs, instead use the plug drop method and get all three carbs in tune for a perfect idle (with headlights off).

joy ride
1st Dec 2014, 19:37
When I was growing up in South America the DKW 1000 Sonderklasse was a regular sight and a great favourite of mine, superb styling and bodywork for a fairly modest car; comparable to a Morris Minor but with a Two stroke motor.

Dkw 3 6 Sonderklasse: Photo #08 (http://www.carsfotodb.com/photo/dkw-3-6-sonderklasse/08/default.html)

M.Mouse
1st Dec 2014, 19:56
Nervous SLF,

You need to hit the 'Youtube' icon which will insert: [°YOUTUBE][/YOUTUBE]

Then you need to extract from the Youtube clip's url all from the part that starts after the '=' and paste that between the two YOUTUBE tags

e.g. the clip above has a url of:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEIn8GJIg0E

so to display the video in a post you would need to insert:

'UEIn8GJIg0E'

between the two YOUTUBE tags

G-CPTN
1st Dec 2014, 20:02
Das Kleine Wunder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DKW) The 1000 Sonderklasse was a swift vehicle and frequently modified for racing - one of Jim Clark's first drives!

cockney steve
1st Dec 2014, 22:03
Always fancied one of those DKW's also was a Wartburg coveter and a 2-stroke Saab fancier.....Ijust love the elegant simplicity of the 2-stroke principal.
Also first saw a Wilson Preselector on a Riley roadster...the owner obligingly explained to a schoolkid on a pushbike, how it worked some 15 years later I bought a Lanchester 10 with a Wilson box.....party trick was to drive into a filling station, stop and reverse to the pump, all without moving both hands from the top of the steering wheel :8
Moving the Preselect lever, whilst the gear-change (clutch on a conventional transmission) gives a false neutral and a massively powerful spring , working through a compound, over-centre linkage, will violently kick the pedal up about twice it's normal travel.....the Daimler buses, so-equipped are reputed to have broken the leg of many a careless driver, against the underside of the steering-wheel..... Those who escaped such punishment, needed to stand on the pedal with both feet, straight back and a strong pull on the steering-wheel in order to reset the mechanism,which used a ber to tension which ever band-brake was selected in the epicyclic box.

The best bit of garage-ownership was the vast number of different cars I got to drive Everything from an Isetta to an E-type Jaguar...and the customers paid me as well!
@ John Hill... Thanks for the Skoda pic. note the headlamp rims and bumpers were virtually the only chrome...the "tail-fins" were a crude tin add-on to wings that just curved down ....great car limited by the archaic materials- technology behind the Iron Curtain.

John Hill
1st Dec 2014, 22:38
Cockney Steve, you fancied a Wartburg? Oh well, guess I shouldnt be too disapproving as at one time I tried to buy a new Tatra 613.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4w9aIzU3faM

Gordon17
2nd Dec 2014, 09:21
There's a chap round the corner from me who has a Wartburg that he still uses regularly - according to www.howmanyleft.co.uk it's one of only 12 still on the road in the UK.

Capetonian
2nd Dec 2014, 09:27
I went to Berlin just after the Wall came down with a friend who wanted to hire a Trabant.

............. temporarily warmed, we had returned to the now darkening streets when Jeff had his moment of insanity, brought on, I imagine, by the freezing of the blood vessels leading to his brain.

"I want to drive a Trabant," he said.

We'd seen Trabants trying to start up, the puny motors coughing and wheezing as smoke poured from the tiny exhaust pipe. We'd noticed the huge range of colours in which the ugly rubberized cardboard bodies were available, dull grey, or dull red. We'd seen dozens of these vehicles apparently abandoned at the roadside as the previous owners had bought proper cars when their almost worthless 'Ostmarks' were exchanged at the rate of one-for-one into Deutschmarks. The Trabants now posed a huge disposal problem in that they were ageless, the design never having changed, and indestructible. Rumour had it that the only way to dispose of the bodies was to grind them up and make them into pig feed. The moral of this is to enquire carefully about the provenance of the pigs before eating 'schweinkotelletten' in Germany.

Jeff thought we could simply approach the owner of a Trabant and ask for a drive. Of course, as he spoke no German, this would be my task and as I had no wish to spend the rest of my days in an East German mental institution I declined. The temperature dropped a few degrees as we continued on our way. I tried to divert Jeff's attention as we approached the office of a car rental company, but he was too quick and we were committed. I refused to speak and hung my head, for the second time that day, in embarrassment, as we walked in.

"Good afternoon. I would like to rent a car."

"Ja, so, zen you haff to ze right place come", the counter clerk replied, unsmiling, as she waited for the next pronouncement.

"I want to hire a Trabant.".

Heads bobbed up from behind ancient computer screens, doors opened at the back of the office, telephones were put down, typewriters ceased to click and clack, and silence reigned. All eyes were upon us. Some looked decidedly nervous. The vision of the mental ward came closer.

"I am sorry sir......", she said.

I don't know whether this was simply a request to repeat a question that she thought she'd misheard, although Trabant hardly sounds like 'Mercedes', BMW, 'Volkswagen', or any other form of transport that a sane person might wish to hire. It may be that she was going to continue the sentence with ......."you must be crazy", but thought better of it. Jeff repeated his request. The girl slowly and deliberately looked at her watch.

"Zen, sir, you are almost precisely vun year too late. In any case, sir, I sink it vill be cheaper now to buy a Trabant zan to hire vun."

We left Berlin with Jeff's dream unfulfilled ..........

Duckbutt
2nd Dec 2014, 09:37
About three years ago while on an Autoroute with the cruise control set at 85 mph or so we were easily passed by a Trabant..........

M.Mouse
2nd Dec 2014, 09:54
The Trabant was a very rugged and robust machine:

5B7H2sU2kF4

Capetonian
2nd Dec 2014, 09:59
at 85 mph or so we were easily passed by a Trabant...
They had about a 500cc engine and a top speed of not much more than 100kph, which took about an hour to reach (by which time you'd run out of fuel!) so I suspect that the one which overtook was heavily modified, i.e. had a modern engine.

The thought of doing 85 mph (140 kph more or less) in something so flimsy and light scares me.

G-CPTN
2nd Dec 2014, 10:34
Some very late Trabants were fitted with VW Polo engines:-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trabant#Late_production_.281989.E2.80.931991.29

Null Orifice
2nd Dec 2014, 14:05
Talking of two-stokes - well, cockney steve mentioned them :8, I had a SAAB 96 with a two-stroke motor AND it had a selectable freewheel transmission system - great fun trying to emulate Erik Carllson on the country roads around north Wiltshire in the late 60s/early 70s - although it did stink a bit!

Sanity returned with the more conventional four-stroke Ford Taunus V4-engined version I bought to succeed it - still fun to drive, again with the freewheel tranny system - and a little more eco-friendly (although that word hadn't been invented then :D).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freewheel for info.

jimtherev
2nd Dec 2014, 14:16
Well, ok, since NO has brought up Saab 96es, eco-friendly or not they were certainly rugged. Guy in the motor club fitted his with a roof-mounted directable spotlight, rallying for the use of. (well, we did that sort of thing in those days...) Very next event, he arrived at the 'breakfast' stop (03:00) with said spotlight flat on the roof.
"Whatever did you do to your lamp, Fred?"
"Hit it on the road. Several times."
The much-rolled Saab appeared quite a few times after that, with a rubber bung where the lamp had been, a bit scratched, but substantially good as new.

G-CPTN
2nd Dec 2014, 17:27
It was said that Carlsson hit a bank and rolled 360 degrees onto the wheels and continued unabated.

ian16th
2nd Dec 2014, 19:11
It was said that Carlsson hit a bank and rolled 360 degrees onto the wheels and continued unabated.

Would that have been Mr. or Mrs Carlson, nee Moss, sister of Stirling. She could drive a bit, actually won a Championship rally outright. Taking the 'Ladies Prize' was par for the course.

Espada III
2nd Dec 2014, 20:57
Drove a 1979 Alfasud for a while. To open the boot there was a lever by the side of the passenger seat, next to the door. Very awkward. Great cars to drive but unreliable.

jimtherev
2nd Dec 2014, 22:30
Would that have been Mr. or Mrs Carlson, nee Moss, sister of Stirling. She could drive a bit, actually won a Championship rally outright. Taking the 'Ladies Prize' was par for the course.
Saab= Erik.
Pat Moss-Carlson drove an Austin Healy 3000 - a big brute of a machine which went like the proverbial off a shovel, but with about the same controllability! You went round corners fast by tweaking the steering wheel just a bit and then turned using the throttle.
Marshalling on the RAC Rally on Purbeck one night in ?62. Pat came burbling along to the stage. "What's it like down there?" "Mud over me wellies" says I. "Sooooper!" says Pat. Aced the stage needless to say.

Loose rivets
3rd Dec 2014, 00:57
The Hudson link seems to run okay. If not, let me know as it's a bewildering piece of electromechanical engineering. It does however take one to a pdf file.

The gears were pre-selected by a tiny H gate lever on the steering column.


Does anyone have experience of Honda's dry clutch 'Automatic'? My pal's Civic has paddles and now he's used to it, loves the sporty changes. He also rides a Fireblade . . . hard.

However, Honda seem to have abandoned this box in later models in favor of a conventional auto. It seems it might leave owners of the computer controlled mechanical box somewhat out in the cold.

Hydromet
3rd Dec 2014, 02:14
Nostalgia - my first 'motorbike (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DKW#mediaviewer/File:ZweiRadMuseumNSU_DKW_Hobby.JPG)'. "The Beast";)

ian16th
3rd Dec 2014, 07:16
jimtherev

After the wedding didn't Mrs. Carlson start driving SAAB's? My remaining grey cells indicate that she she did.

AtomKraft
3rd Dec 2014, 07:21
One had a 67 MGBGT. It had a faulty ignition switch and the usual MGB weak handbrake. I used to leave it parked in gear.

Soon I realised that during the night, the car was going for short drives on it's own. The starter would crank, and the car would trundle off in first gear until something stopped it- usually a kerb, or another car.

I'd go out the following morning to find it had mysteriously re parked itself somewhere, with a flat battery.

I thought it must be kids farting about with it- I was working in a children's home at the time- and it didn't lock, but eventually, after much head scratching and tooth sucking, figured it out.

Another thing it did was to cut out dead while proceeding, and nothing would persuade it to so much as make a bang. That turned out to be a dead rotor arm in the end.

Another time, while driving, there was a ginormous explosion in the car, that scared the bejaysus out of me, but failed to stop the car or indeed affect it in any way. I forgot about it eventually, but figured it out when needing to use the spare tyre. It had had a self initiated blowout while stored in the usual place.

Another trick it played was a disconcerting knock that it developed every time the rear wheels went over a bump. I tried everything to fix it, changed springs (cart type) shockers and eventually fitted a spare axle that I had, but nothing would stop it. Turned out to be an huge old screwdriver, left in the boot, that rapped sharply on the n/s inner rear wheel arch whenever we went over a bump.

Having said that, I had seven of those cars, and loved them dearly. One I knew so well, it was an oil burner/ leaker, that I could tell when the oil was low because it ran a bit better due to reduced crankshaft oil windage when there was no damn oil left in the thing.....:hmm:

jimtherev
3rd Dec 2014, 09:07
jimtherev

After the wedding didn't Mrs. Carlson start driving SAAB's? My remaining grey cells indicate that she she did.
Your grey cells better than mine. Seems that you're right, but then went onto Coopers, Renaults, Lancias & other stuff. Wiki here...
Pat Moss - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Moss)

sitigeltfel
3rd Dec 2014, 09:30
In the early 70's I used to go to Lydden Hill to watch the motorbike racing and the sidecar events were interesting. At that time the races were started with a push start and some riders had outfits with the Saab 3 cylinder two-stroke engine fitted. While the riders with traditional four-stroke engines were struggling to get their engines to come to life, the Saab outfits needed only a short shove to get going and were roaring into the distance while the rest were still pushing.

ShyTorque
3rd Dec 2014, 09:34
Another time, while driving, there was a ginormous explosion in the car, that scared the bejaysus out of me, but failed to stop the car or indeed affect it in any way.

I've had this happen twice, in different cars, but both related to the alternator.

The first time it happened, I seriously thought I'd been shot at. I was driving my Triumph Spitfire along a Yorkshire country lane, roof down. There was a sudden, very loud metallic bang like a nearby rifle shot, and something appeared to have hit the bonnet, leaving a patch of bare metal. Debris flew off over my head. I kept going another half mile or so until I was well out of that location! I got out to have a look for the "enemy", heart pounding. I then looked at the bonnet and realised there was a sharp edged lump of bright metal sticking up, about two inches long by half an inch wide. Turned out to be the metal fan on the alternator had broken completely in half, the loose piece flying up and causing the damage from below. The debris that flew off over my head was the paint.

The second time (Chrysler Avenger 1600 that time) was a battery explosion; caused by a regulator failure on the alternator, which massively overcharged the battery by putting about 17 volts through it.

Lucas electrics both times!

Edit: just remembered...the Spitfire had a dynamo, rather than an alternator. But still made by Joe, the P of D.

Capetonian
3rd Dec 2014, 09:49
Apologies for not being original, as someone posted these on another thread not long ago :

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRSTm62CEZiG16o2-49GYUthehHRavXXxhbWAVCYDTf2JC0dvDCdg

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT1tnFlGdQKjNyL787eHPe3BHnHycs2B_QfNtrXSa5-DadQjr62JQ

ShyTorque
3rd Dec 2014, 09:55
Often quoted as such. I first heard that nearly half a century ago.

cockney steve
3rd Dec 2014, 11:07
For the youngsters:-
It's a parody of the Lucas (Joseph Lucas, Birmingham, England)
slogan "King of the Road." It haunted them from the '60's
When the ACR series of Alternators were introduced....Actuallt a brilliant, but flawed concept, the whole thing was modular, the rotor and Stator being different lengths accordin to output,,,IIRC, the 15ACR gave only about 5 watts more than a dynamo!

Spoiled by a fragile rectifier which could be ruined just by soldering it in.

Following on from Shy's experience....the ACR always seemed to fail open circuit....the Bosch , fitted toVolvos Mercs, BMWs used to go "full -field (as happened to Shy)...In such an instance, the output is proportional toengine-speed...I had a 350SE Merc in, with a "funny smell"

Underside of bonnet, engine and bulkhead were covered in a white deposit, rubber hanging off plug-caps (the big Beru tin-shrouds , reminiscent of a milking machine)... Battery boiled dry as a bone.....that was a very expensive trip up the motorway..... Funnily enough , I don'trecollect a load of blown stop andindicator-bulbs (an early warning!) the Bosch Reg and brush-box was held on with 2 screws and it was possible to swap them without even taking off the Alty.

Rover 100...-6-cylinders, suicide rear doors, walking-stick handbrake on the outside edge of the floor...a complex parallellogram linkage atop the gearbox, for the gearlever. Whisking down the motorway, missus and Pans on board, 80+ mph in overdrive top. a real Limo. but somewhat thirsty, with the big, quiet, IOE lump . Once tow-started a Cargo breakdown truck with it.....owner thought I was joking, at first..... When I opened the bonnet and showed him it was all solid engine, his tune altered. fun days.

joy ride
3rd Dec 2014, 12:32
My Dad had a Rover 100, I sometimes used to sit on his lap and steer it, fine beast.

Ancient Mariner
3rd Dec 2014, 12:49
Had a Rover 600 Ti ( I know, I know....Honda Accord). Best car I've ever had, went like stink. Caught my wife out when brand spanking new. not used to the turbo which kicked in a bit more than she expected.
In a blizzard, up in the mountains. Me ahead in VW Caravelle Coach, the old one with engine aft, she behind. Suddenly she was gone, I expected wee-stop as she had two teens in the car. Eventually turned around and saw something BRG-coloured way down a slope. Took forever to get the car up on the road.
Wifey still a bit miffed, my first question was: "How's the car?" :ouch:
Per

ian16th
3rd Dec 2014, 12:55
Overdrive, wonderful. Rover 105 and a Sunbeam Rapier convertible, both were aged heaps but so smooth with that extra bit. My 2nd Hillman Hunter was a 1975 'Motor Show Special'. It had the name of the 'Hunter Topaz'.

It was basically a Hunter Super with a slack handful of extra's. If my memories right it included:

Overdrive
Vinyl Roof
Rostyle wheels
Push Button AM Radio
Plush cloth/plastic seats
Metalic paint, a sort of bronze.

This was for a price that was less than the Hunter Super + Overdrive.

I took the radio out, sold it for £20 and fitted an AM/FM unit with a cassette player.

I did a lot of motorway miles at the time and it was a nice motorway cruiser. The overdrive on 3rd and 4th gear, reduced the engine revs by 25%. I used to call it the 'quite switch'.

I kept it for 7 years, the bronze paint helped to hide the rust!

victor tango
3rd Dec 2014, 19:06
Just had a thought...............

What was the last car you owned that had semaphore indicators and or a starting handle?????????

G-CPTN
3rd Dec 2014, 19:11
Morris Minor 1000, Austin A30, Riley RME . . .

Probably a couple of others, too - Bedford CA, Renault 4CV 750.

Renault R4L had a starting handle.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
3rd Dec 2014, 19:36
Didn't own it, but it was the first car I used to drive after passing my test - my mum's Wolsley 4/44. Gutless, column change, flip-out indicators (with the help of a thump on the door pillar from me!), starting handle.

John Hill
3rd Dec 2014, 19:51
G-CPTN, I presume the Morrie Thou, the A30 and the RME had clanking handles too?

BTW, I drove an A30 from Melbourne to Cooktown then back to Sydney, two of us with camping gear. A great journey IIRC.

G-CPTN
3rd Dec 2014, 19:55
I presume the Morrie Thou, the A30 and the RME had clanking handles too?
Indeed, as did the Hillman Imp IIRC.

The 1938 MGVA also had a starting handle, but I don't remember any indicators.
As it was a tourer, maybe it was assumed that you would 'lean out and wave'?

ian16th
3rd Dec 2014, 19:56
What was the last car you owned that had semaphore indicators and or a starting handle????????? Semaphore Indicators: 1957 Morris Minor 1000
Starting Handle: 1972 Sunbeam Sport

olympus
3rd Dec 2014, 20:01
This was my second car, a 1933 MG J2, purchased in 1962 for the then significant sum of £75. It had many drawbacks - no heater, poor weather protection, poor performance, a two-bearing crankshaft which broke if the engine was revved too hard and its major shortcoming, a vertical dynamo at the front of the block which also served as the drive from the crank to the overhead camshaft. This design disaster cost me a fortune (which I didn't have) in replacement dynamos because of the constant flow of oil into the dynamo from the oil seal between the dynamo and the camshaft.

http://i1318.photobucket.com/albums/t651/olympus14627/FS5178_zpsbfa391f6.jpg (http://s1318.photobucket.com/user/olympus14627/media/FS5178_zpsbfa391f6.jpg.html)

This photo shows my J2 together with my friend Vinnie's Bentley. He was a little older than me and had a lot more money. He was always very modest about his Bentley, describing it rather scathingly as 'just an H M Bentley rebuild'. I think this meant that it was created from a Bentley saloon or similar.

http://i1318.photobucket.com/albums/t651/olympus14627/MGandBentley_zps4f933fa3.jpg (http://s1318.photobucket.com/user/olympus14627/media/MGandBentley_zps4f933fa3.jpg.html)

G-CPTN
3rd Dec 2014, 20:19
TS registration was issued by Dundee from June 1904 to June 1932, so it wasn't that modern (as, of course, nor was your J2).
FS registration was issued by Edinburgh from April 1931 to June 1934.

Ancient Mariner
3rd Dec 2014, 21:05
VT: What was the last car you owned that had ........... a starting handle

'57 Hillman Minx, very useful in frozen Norway.
'67 Hillman Super Minx, never used it.
Per

Flash2001
3rd Dec 2014, 21:12
Our 1949 Vauxhall Velox had the semaphore indicators!

After an excellent landing etc...

Loose rivets
3rd Dec 2014, 23:27
I was chuffed a week ago or so when my pal in Ireland sent some scans of his slides, although I don't know why, I really should go back in time and give my young backside a good kicking.

This time the idiosyncrasy is me - in a car that was totally inappropriate for my kind of driving. I have no idea how I remained alive. Astonishingly, and quite undeservedly, after two years or so there wasn't a scratch on the car.

That K & L Easyturn was copied from my Wolseley days and allowed violent (vigorous is not a strong enough word) cranking of the wheel while going sideways. I cut the seat-back tubes and inserted steel pins so that it could be unplugged and laid flat. So mindless was I that I thought I could park by the Serpentine on a nice day with my girlfriend and get settled back. We'd managed to steam the windows up before hearing a tapping noise. The polite, very British, policeman told us we couldn't do that there. It was hard reversing amid a small crowd with no seat back.

Oh why is youth wasted on the young, and indeed the manipulations of the selfish gene?


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v703/walnaze/Cars/MeinZephyr_zpsd0ce5ca0.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/walnaze/media/Cars/MeinZephyr_zpsd0ce5ca0.jpg.html)

John Hill
3rd Dec 2014, 23:43
RHD '55 Customline?

Nice sunvisor!

TBirdFrank
3rd Dec 2014, 23:50
My first beast - a Grannie Rover 100 - ton and a half, and 2.6 litres of sheer fun.

Bought because they were a great banger racing car, they were also good for seeing off Cortina GTs - pass anything but a filling station.

That handbrake rachet was a bugger and the points on the petrol pump!

Mine met its end when a clown in a Spitfire turned right into my nearside front wheel just as I was approaching Kennerley Road lights on the A6 south of Stockport - they leaned over most gracefully as they took the weight of the Rover sliding upwards and the driver of the Cortina looked worried to death in case I came off sideways and fell on him!

seacue
4th Dec 2014, 00:36
My VW (55 I think) had flip-out semaphore turn indicators. They were dim and useless, since no one expected them in the USA.

Loose rivets
4th Dec 2014, 01:05
No, a bog standard 58 Zephyr complete with rust. I put the spare wheel on the back bumper US style and covered the rotting sills with aluminum panel.

Yep, those sun visors were fantastic, giving a real feeling of being inside some protective cover. They probably cost a fortune in drag.


This one is of me trying to sell it, though the punter used to see it going in the opposite direction every morning and was wise enough not to fall for it.



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v703/walnaze/Cars/Zephyr1254HK_zpsce1879c8.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/walnaze/media/Cars/Zephyr1254HK_zpsce1879c8.jpg.html)

ian16th
4th Dec 2014, 07:44
Olympus

Notice the family resemblance?

My 1932 Morris Minor, the pic is 1956.

http://i818.photobucket.com/albums/zz108/ian16th/MorrisMinor.jpg?1417682540926&1417682542701

MagnusP
4th Dec 2014, 09:16
My '53 Morris Minor had flip-out indicators, although they had been bypassed and modern indicators retrofitted. I have a vague recollection that they were called "trafficators" or something like that.

G-CPTN
4th Dec 2014, 09:38
Trafficators (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trafficators).

More here:- http://www.angliaobsolete.com/trafficator-text.html


.

MagnusP
4th Dec 2014, 09:50
Ta, G-CPTN. As they'd been disconnected before I bought the car (£30) I never had a chance to deploy them.

johngreen
4th Dec 2014, 09:55
I also had a 55 Beetle, more or less the same vintage as myself, which had a few minor anomalies due to being a right hand drive model made from adulterations of left hand drive parts, for example, having a keyed door lock only on the passenger side.
It cost me £15 because it looked like absolute rubbish and the engine was beyond repair; the fault proved to be a cracked distributor cap. It was my main form of transport for at least a couple of years.
When it finally did go to meet the scrapper, I kept the fuel cap which fitted the 100mm wide filler and which I now see being sold for far more than the price I paid for the whole car.


The turn signals were certainly officially called 'Trafficators' but I have always known and thought of them as Idiot Sticks - perhaps due to the preponderance of shall we say 'less than bright' drivers who thought anyone else would ever see them and hence understand what they were intending to do next - especially at night...

G-CPTN
4th Dec 2014, 09:57
OY registration issued by London from December 1930 to September 1934.

Loose rivets
4th Dec 2014, 10:05
Ian, was the gas pedal in the middle?

Oh, BTW, that's a fine looking Elm, is it not? Though is that a lightning scar I see? Boughs started falling off ours (the one behind the Rivetess in my first post.) The first bough that came down would have written the car off. I'm not sure if it was Elm that got my dad.

Astonishingly he survived despite his head having been pushed through the steering wheel. (so his second wife told me.) Good job, or I'd never have met him in my adult life. His head was a bit dented, but he seemed fine - apart from the shock of me turning up.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v703/walnaze/Family/DadsVan.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/walnaze/media/Family/DadsVan.jpg.html)


I haven't got a single photo of the family's first car. It was like your car but with a roof. 25 quid with no driver's window. Perspex did a job for a while.

During the Suez crisis, one could drive on L plates without being accompanied. I didn't even bother to check the rumor and headed off to college with pals on board. A very handy time to get some hours in, though I did 4 hours with BSM at an horrific quid an hour, just to polish for the test. He really worried me by rolling a cigarette while we were stationary. Aaaaagh, that's sixpence gone, thought I. However, he told me to start my backing into a sidestreet just as the back axle of the A35 was on the inside line of the footpath of that street. The tip was worth its weight in gold.

Try backing into a sidestreet now. No chance, there's always some buggah waiting to come out, and then his uncle and then their aunt . . . ad infinitum.










Oh, why are these dumb Edit thingies back again? It was so nice without them.


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